3 injured in truck rollover on I-35

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Three people were injured when a silver Ford pickup rolled off Interstate 35 a few minutes after noon Tuesday.

The Minnesota State Patrol investigation says the people in the 2006 Ford F-150 were driver Lee Leppala, 42, of Virginia, Minn., passenger Arthur Lentonen, 49, of Rosemount, and Scott Boutto, 45, of Virginia.

The State Patrol report says the truck was headed southbound on I-35 when Leppala lost control on the icy pavement. The truck entered the ditch and rolled.

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The report states Lentonen suffered a more severe injury than the other two. However, it was non-life-threatening.

The truck managed to travel about 75 feet from the roadway. However, that part of the freeway has wide ditches. The truck stopped rolling near the fence for a field.

Firefighters and state troopers waded through the snow as they investigated what was left of the pickup. The roof of the pickup’s cab was mangled and all the windows were busted. An Albert Lea Medical Center ambulance, patrol cars and fire trucks were parked on the side of I-35.

The rollover took place just south of I-35’s cloverleaf interchange with I-90. Southbound I-35 is three lanes at that point. Southbound traffic was diverted to a single lane. Traffic on the ramp connecting eastbound I-90 to southbound I-35 was stopped as drivers waited for openings to enter the single available lane. Northbound traffic was unaffected.

The stretch of I-35 between the I-90 interchange and Exit 12 is the busiest mile in Freeborn County. The Minnesota Department of Transportation estimates 28,200 autos travel that stretch daily.

About Tim Engstrom

Tim Engstrom is the editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. He resides in Albert Lea with his wife, two sons and dog.

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