Semitrailer crashes into plow 7 miles west of Austin

Published 10:58 am Thursday, February 26, 2015

By Albert Lea Tribune

Three snowplows were rear-ended within three hours as they responded to Wednesday’s snow in southern Minnesota, including one seven miles west of Austin on Interstate 90.

That crash took place shortly after 11 a.m. when a semi rear-ended a snowplow, according the Minnesota Department of Transportation. No injuries were reported.

Before that collision, a vehicle rear-ended a snowplow on Highway 56 at Goodhue County Road 9 around 9 a.m. No injuries were reported. And at 10 a.m., a 2011 Dodge Nitro rear-ended a plow on eastbound Highway 14 west of Byron. The driver of the Dodge Nitro was treated at Mayo Clinic Rochester — St. Marys Campus for injuries deemd not life-threatening, but the MnDOT driver was not injured.

More than 100 MnDOT plows were on highways Wednesday to clear roads and apply salt and sand in the 11-county southeastern Minnesota district.

Lightweight snow — 3 inches in Albert Lea and 2.7 inches in Austin — and windy conditions decreased visibility on area highways, and MnDOT reported that reduced visibility was a factor in some of the crashes.

MnDOT reminded motorists to drive slowly near snowplows and to give plows plenty of room during snow events.