Crashes Continue to Pile Up, Trooper's Car Hit

Posted at: 03/19/2013 7:04 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Blowing snow causing hundreds of crashes in our area Tuesday including one involving a state trooper.

Hwy 52 south bound had to be closed off Tuesday morning after that accident involving the state trooper. Lt. Dan Lewis had to be taken to St. Marys Hospital after his car was struck while he was assisting another driver in the ditch.

The accident is another reminder of how cautious drivers need to be on these slippery roads.

The family of Lt. Lewis tells us the driver that hit his squad car was traveling at speeds faster than 60 miles per hour. MnDOT and state patrol are reminding drivers to take their advice seriously and slow down.

While the roads are clear in some spots there could be drifting snow and icy patches just ahead.

"People just thinking because it's not snowing anymore it means the roads are in good condition and they're not," said MnDOT spokesperson Kristin Kammueller.

While MnDOT has been working around the clock to try in clear them, but with the wind there is little else they can do.

"With the temperature a lot of the product that's laid down, it doesn't work in these cold temps and with the wind it just blows it right off the road," said Kammueller.

MnDOT’s salt and sand is not the only thing having trouble staying on the road.

"The last two days we've handled well over a 100 accidents and vehicles off the road, and were still responding to crashes," said LT. Christina Krueger.

We’ve heard reports of several semis and vehicles in the ditches on I-90, I-35, and Hwy 52. Lt. Lewis was hit while trying to help another driver in the ditch.

"Anytime anyone in law enforcement is hit our first concern is them and their well-being," said Lt. Krueger.

Lt. Lewis was taken to St. Mary's Hospital and was treated for neck and back pain. Family members have told us that he has been released and is doing fine.  .

"Anytime we have a trooper injured that's one less person that can respond to those crashes those vehicles off the road, it's going to take us time to get to you be patient please stay in your vehicle that the safest place for you," said Lt. Krueger.

And while state patrol and MnDOT have been working around the clock to keep drivers safe on the roads, drivers need to do the same for them.

“If you see lights ahead and there's a crash slow down pay attention and move over," said Kammueller.

This was the 11th time Lt. Lewis has been hit in his squad car. He was not the only trooper was hit on Tuesday. According to state patrol two officers were also hit in the twin cities.