MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Conditions are improving, but it was another slow and rough commute for drivers this morning.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, they responded overnight and Friday morning to nearly 450 crashes, 23 involving injuries, but none of them serious. Add those to the crashes and spin-outs Thursday and the total was around 1,500.
Law enforcement wasn’t immune to crashes either. Since Thursday morning, five state trooper squad cars were hit while responding to other accidents.
State Trooper Kristie Sue Hathaway was stopped in the left land of eastbound 494 near Pilot Knob Road early Friday morning in Eagan.
She had just rescued someone involved in a crash when a driver behind her didn’t stop.
The Dodge Ram slammed into the back of the squad car at 60 miles an hour.
“I didn’t really grasp how much of an impact it was until I saw it again in the daylight,” she said. “I think the squad car really tells the story.”
Trooper Hathaway and her passenger were treated at a hospital for their injuries and released. The driver who struck them was arrested on suspicion of DWI.
Three of the other incidents happened Thursday during the peak of snowy and icy road conditions. In those cases, troopers had also stopped to check on drivers who had crashed.
In one case, a trooper drove himself to the hospital.
Law enforcement officials are reminding people to slow down, pay attention and move over when they see a squad car, especially during a winter storm.
MnDOT says drivers will see improved road conditions during rush hour traffic. We’re not expecting any more snow and there is sunshine, which we’re told will help crews as they continue to treat the roads.