State Patrol Urges Minnesotans to Stay Safe on Icy Highways

Three law enforcement vehicles were hit within fifteen minutes of each other on I-35 Sunday

DULUTH, Minn. – A plea for safety comes from the Minnesota State Patrol after three law enforcement vehicles were hit within about fifteen minutes of each other on I-35 near Midway Road Sunday.

Nobody was killed this time, and state troopers tell us these crashes can be avoided, even in snowy and icy conditions.

Thirty-six Minnesota State Patrol vehicles have been hit by drivers this year statewide, so troopers are urging Minnesotans to stay safe on the highways.

Trooper Mark McGrew and his partner were investigating crashes along I-35 Sunday night.

They got a call saying a St. Louis County Rescue Squad vehicle was hit. When a state trooper responded to that call, the trooper vehicle was also hit.

Finally, McGrew’s patrol car was struck from behind as he stood near the front tire, investigating the other trooper-related crash.

“Initially I didn’t see the vehicle lose control. I heard my partner yelling ‘watch out’ and then I was able to see a flash of headlights as it hit the back of my car and continued into the center median,” explained McGrew.

No officers were injured in those three crashes, but the State Patrol tells us injuries to troopers have happened this year in Minnesota.

That’s why it’s so important for drivers to adjust their speed for conditions and follow the ‘Move Over’ law by slowing down and giving space for first responders to do their jobs.

“If you see an emergency vehicle that is parked with its emergency lights on and there is no crash that we’re investigating or that a motorist can currently see, that should be a reminder that there’s something ahead,” said Sgt. Neil Dickenson of the Minnesota State Patrol.

The State Patrol has seen an increase in people driving when no travel is advised. They say those advisories must be followed for everybody to stay safe.

Salt and brine don’t melt snow and ice in sub-zero temperatures, so it may take crews a little longer to clear roadways this week.

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