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Sam Benshoof and Mike Nowatzki, Forum staff writers, Published January 23 2012

Highway 10 rollover among handful of accidents on roads like 'a skating rink '

FARGO – The 5 inches of snow that fell on Sunday made driving particularly difficult on Monday and caused accidents throughout the Fargo-Moorhead metro area, law enforcement officials said.

On Highway 10 east of Glyndon, Minn., on Monday morning, the driver of a pickup truck sustained minor injuries in a rollover crash, the Minnesota State Patrol said.

The driver, who was alone in the vehicle, was taken by F-M Ambulance to a Fargo hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, Sgt. Jesse Grabow said. The accident happened shortly before 10 a.m. about a mile east of Highway 9.

Grabow said roads in Clay County were slick with ice and packed snow.

“It’s just a skating rink out here,” he said.

Troopers responded to at least a dozen vehicles in the ditch Monday morning, Grabow said. The slickest areas were Interstate 94 between Barnesville and Moorhead and Highway 10 between Moorhead and Hawley, he said.

Bruce Nord, maintenance superintendent of the North Dakota Department of Transportation, said crews had been out sanding throughout the day, but the combination of scattered ice, compact snow and rising temperatures was making it difficult to keep roads clear.

In Fargo, police responded to at least 15 accidents in the afternoon, Lt. Joel Vettel said, noting many of them occurred during the evening rush hour.

People are driving “way too fast” for the conditions, Grabow said, noting one driver passed him going more than 70 mph while talking on his cellphone with a pet on his lap.

“I know we’re not really used to this,” he said, referring to what has otherwise been a mild winter. “But still, when it’s here, you’ve really got to step up and think.”

“People will have to start getting into winter driving mode, which we’ve been out of for so long,” Vettel said.

Readers can reach Forum reporters Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528 and Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535