Albert Lea man injured in I-35 pontoon crash

Published 9:26 am Friday, May 2, 2014

An Albert Lea man was injured Wednesday night after his vehicle struck a pontoon boat that fell off a trailer on Interstate 35 near Faribault.

Richard W. Fitzlaff, 74, was transported to District One Hospital in Faribault for injuries deemed not life-threatening. No one else was injured.

The Minnesota State Patrol report indicates Fitzlaff’s 2013 Ford Edge was one of four vehicles involved in the crash on a wet roadway.

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According to the report, a 2004 Nissan Titan, driven by Brady Kuiper, 42, of Mankato was driving southbound on I-35 pulling the pontoon when the pickup lost a wheel and fishtailed. The pontoon then came off the trailer, stopping in the lane of traffic.

A 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix, driven by Kenneth W. Estes, 63, of Northwood, swerved to miss the pontoon and collided with a 2006 Chevy Aveo, driven by Angela Stout, 48, of New Richland.

Stout’s vehicle went into the ditch and collided with a road sign.

Fitzlaff — driving a 2013 Ford Edge — then struck the pontoon, according to the report. He had one passenger, Marilyn Bergo, 71, of Albert Lea.

No alcohol was detected in any of the drivers and passengers, and all were wearing their seat belts.

The Faribault Police Department, Faribault Fire Department and North Ambulance assisted.