2 trooper squad cars struck on slick I-35 Sunday

Published 9:03 am Monday, January 5, 2009

Two Minnesota State Patrol squad cars were hit Sunday afternoon while troopers were busy attending to wrecks that happened in icy conditions.

No one was seriously injured in either of the two cases.

According to State Patrol reports, the first incident took place a few minutes after noon Sunday.

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Trooper Scott Crabtree, 38, was sitting on the right shoulder of southbound Interstate 35 near milepost 15 — three miles south of the Clarks Grove exit — writing a crash report from a previous rollover wreck, when the driver of a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix, also going southbound, swerved to the right and struck the squad car, reports stated.

The driver of the Grand Prix, Megan L. Mulford, 19, of Iowa Falls, Iowa, swerved to avoid slower vehicles, according to reports. She received no apparent injury.

Crabtree and his passengers, John J. Pivonka, 40, and Shelley K. Terzich, 45, both of Omaha, Neb., were treated and released for injuries.

About two hours later, the second incident occurred at milepost 20 — two miles north of the Clarks Grove exit.

According to State Patrol reports, Brian S. Lange, 19, of Nashville, Tenn. was traveling southbound on I-35 in a 2000 Nissan Altima when he lost control and struck another squad car on the right shoulder driven by William T. Tjon, 25, of Owatonna.

Tjon was attending to a previous rollover crash.

Lange, Tjon and Tjon’s passenger, Jordanne E. Blair, 22, of Lake City, Iowa, received no apparent injury, according to reports.

Freeborn County Deputy Sheriff Gene Arnold called the weekend of wrecks “a bumper car festival.”

The roads were particularly slick in northern Iowa after freezing rain fell during the weekend. Several schools were two hours late this morning. That included Glenville-Emmons and Northwood-Kensett.

Things look to be warmer today and Tuesday. In Northwood, the high Tuesday is forecast to be 28 degrees.