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Benny Polacca, Published January 19 2009

Icy roads blamed for several accidents

Law enforcement officials remind motorists to please slow down after a series of vehicle accidents today across the region, with icy road conditions being blamed as the culprit.

Most of the crashes involved vehicles rolling over or sliding into the ditches and medians after hitting slick portions of the area’s major highways, including Interstate 94 and U.S. Highway 10. The roads became slippery after winds blew snow across them during the late morning and early afternoon hours, authorities said.

In one crash, law enforcement and rescue crews responded to a single-vehicle rollover at 12:50 p.m. on I-94 at mile marker 336 east of the Casselton, N.D., exit.

There were two occupants in the vehicle. One was airlifted to MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, said North Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Dave Wolf. The other was taken to MeritCare by ambulance.

Other North Dakota crashes occurred on I-94 at the Ayr exit and on I-94 at the University Drive exit, Wolf said. There were no injuries.

Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said his department responded to nearly a dozen vehicle crashes today that were likely caused by icy roads. No serious injuries were reported, he said.

Bergquist recommends drivers slow down because the posted speed limits are not ideal for driving on slick roads. Drivers should also avoid using their cruise control feature and use headlights during the day, he said.

Minnesota State Patrol authorities responded to a single-vehicle rollover at 12:14 p.m. on Highway 10 just east of Lake Park involving two adults and a 1-year-old baby.

Road conditions were icy at the time of the crash, the State Patrol reported. The pickup was being driven by a pregnant Detroit Lakes, Minn., woman.

Ashley Collins, 19, was not wearing a seat belt at the time and suffered nonlife-threatening injuries, according to the State Patrol.

Also riding in the pickup were Kenneth Hampshire, 21, of Audubon, Minn., who received nonlife-threatening injuries, and an unidentified baby who had no apparent injuries, the State Patrol said.

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