You picked a fine time to leave me, loose wheel

| 1/7/2011

While a Minnesota trooper was on the scene Monday, Jan. 3, to assist a tow truck pull a vehicle from a ditch on I-94 near Dalton, MN, his squad car was struck by a loose semi tire. The state police called it a “fluke” and credited the trucker for how he handled the mishap.

According to State Trooper Jesse Grabow’s written report for the Review-Messenger, the trooper was in the squad car, parked on the right shoulder, when a tractor -trailer driven by Lynn Lee, 56, of Minneapolis passed by in the westbound lane.

At that moment, the front right steer axle tire came off. The tire then rolled off and struck the trooper's squad car, causing significant damage to right rear bumper, taillight and quarter panel.

Grabow wrote that the squad car was still drivable and the trooper uninjured.

The semi truck, owned by Holland Enterprises of Mapleton, ND, was towed from the scene. Grabow reports the Minnesota State Patrol Commercial Vehicle section conducted an inspection on the semi and trailer. No citations were issued or violation found.

Grabow: “It appears to be one of those very rare fluke things. The truck driver needs to be credited for obeying the law by slowing down, and moving over to the furthest lane. This helped avoid the potential for greater danger on the icy roads while troopers continue to respond to several calls for assistance to numerous vehicles that slid off the road.”