Unexpected icy conditions led to a 61-vehicle pileup in Minnesota on Monday, March 24. One person was sent to the hospital with minor injuries.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, two vehicles spun out of control on the Mendota Bridge on Highway 55 shortly before 1 p.m., which led a tractor-trailer to jackknife. Vehicles behind the accident were unable to slow down. The State Patrol was unaware of any other commercial trucks involved in the pileup.
According to MSP spokesperson Lt. Eric Roeske, freezing temperatures this time of year are not very common. However, he said the area has recently experienced a burst of wintery weather.
“It’s certainly unusual, but this seems like the winter that won’t go away,” said Roeske.
The investigation is ongoing as law enforcement authorities compile more information from the many drivers and vehicles involved. To date, no charges have been filed.
Roeske acknowledged that Mendota Bridge, like most bridges, is typically more dangerous than other parts of the highway during slick road conditions. It took crews two and a half hours to clear the scene.
Only one person was reported going to the hospital with minor injuries. According to the patrol, more may have checked themselves into a hospital on their own.
“It could have been much much worse,” said Roeske.
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