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‘Have a little more patience’: Troopers urge caution as region sees numerous crashes on slick, snowy roads

A semi sits in a field Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, off Highway 46 after being involved in a crash southwest of Kindred, N.D. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor1 / 2
A Dodge Ram pickup was involved in a rollover Wednesday, Dec. 20, near Barnesville, Minn. A passenger in the truck received injuries that were not life-threatening, according to the state patrol. Special to The Forum2 / 2

FARGO – Emergency crews dealt with a number of crashes on snow-covered roads throughout the region Wednesday, Dec. 20.

Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow said people were “driving way too fast in obviously poor conditions.”

“You have to have a little more patience and allow more time for travel,” Grabow said.

Two crashes near Barnesville, Minn., happened on Interstate 94 within 30 minutes of each other. Grabow said both involved one vehicle and neither resulted in injuries that were life-threatening.

The first crash happened at 1:10 p.m., when a driver heading east on I-94 crashed into the cable barrier along the interstate.

At 1:40 p.m., a Dodge Ram pickup was eastbound near exit 108 when the truck rolled into the ditch. The driver and passenger in that crash, 25-year-old Brock Zenzen, of Belgrade, Minn., and 23-year-old Taylor Fox, of Laurel, Mont., were both wearing seat belts. Fox suffered a minor injury, Grabow said.

At 3:15 p.m., Grabow responded to a report of a vehicle that drove off the road on U.S. Highway 10 near the Buffalo River. Details of the crash were not immediately available.

In North Dakota, two semis eastbound on Highway 46 collided about a mile west of Kindred about 10:30 a.m.

Norris Smedshammer, 71, of Verona, N.D., was driving behind 29-year-old Jonathan Schmidt, of Kindred, N.D., when Schmidt slowed down to turn right into a private business, said North Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Dave Wolf.

Smedshammer’s semi struck metal beams Schmidt was hauling. Smedshammer lost control, crossed the highway and went into the north ditch. He was pinned in the semi due to extensive cab damage.

Smedshammer had to be extricated, Wolf said, and was taken to Sanford Hospital in Fargo with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Another crash about 2 p.m. involved three vehicles near Casselton on I-94.

Few details on the crash were available, but Wolf said there were no serious injuries.

Throughout the day, North Dakota troopers responded to about a half dozen spin outs, with drivers needing help getting stuck vehicles out of ditches, some requiring tow trucks.

“Road conditions are passable, but we’re advising caution,” Wolf said. “With the temperature, a lot of the snow is coming down and sticking to the roads and freezing.”

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