The Minnesota State Patrol responded to dozens of crashes across southern Minnesota Thursday as high winds caused blowing and drifting snow. As of 3pm, troopers with the Mankato District of the State Patrol had been called out to 30 incidents of vehicles going off the roadway, 15 property damage crashes – 12 of which were rollovers, and 6 personal injury crashes – 4 of which were rollovers. The Marshall District of the State Patrol had responded to 11 vehicles going off the roadway, 7 property damage crashes – 3 of which were rollovers, and 2 personal injury rollover crashes. Authorities say that many factors contributed to the crashes, including speed, not expecting poor road conditions with the warm day, and the wind and drifting contributing to icy patches on area roadways.
A 19-year-old Mankato woman was injured in a rollover accident on Highway 60 near Lake Crystal Thursday morning. Rebecca Gentry was driving an Olds 88 eastbound on 60 when she lost control on the icy road at just after 10:30am and the car rolled, coming to rest on it’s wheels. Gentry was taken to the Lake Crystal Hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Her 2 passengers were not hurt.
A 72-year-old Sanborn woman was injured in a rollover accident on an icy Highway 14 in Brown County Thursday morning. Sharon Pankonin was driving a Chrysler minivan eastbound on 14 when she lost control and the vehicle crossed the centerline and rolled into the ditch. The accident happened at around 9:45am. Pankonin was taken to the Sleepy Eye Medical Center with non life-threatening injuries. She was wearing a seatbelt.
Two people were injured in a 3-vehicle accident on Highway 22 near Glencoe Thursday morning. A northbound Honda Civic driven by 22-year-old Kirstin Taggart of Deerwood was slowing down for vehicles in the ditch and due to the weather conditions when a Ford Taurus driven by 20-year-old Alyssa Silvers of Arlington scuffed the rear of the Civic at just before 9am. The Taurus then crossed the centerline of the highway and sideswiped a southbound Pontiac Sunfire driven by 56-year-old Mary Bielke of Glencoe. Silvers was taken to the Glencoe Hospital with non life-threatening injuries, while Bielke went to the Waconia Hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Taggart was not hurt.
A 20-year-old Minneapolis woman was injured in a rollover accident on Highway 212 in Buffalo Lake Thursday evening. Paola Fuentes-Lanza was driving a Nissan Pathfinder eastbound on 212 and was approaching the intersection with Renville County Road 8 when she swerved to avoid a vehicle turning off the highway and lost control. Her vehicle then went off the road and rolled, coming to rest on its passenger side. Fuentes-Lanza was taken to the Renville County Hospital in Olivia with non life-threatening injuries. She was wearing a seatbelt when the accident occurred at just after 5:30pm.