Multiple crashes reported on I-35

Published 5:03 pm Friday, January 18, 2019

Numerous crashes were reported on interstates 35 and 90 Friday, as winter weather returned with a vengeance to southern Minnesota.

The southbound lanes of I-35 from the Clarks Grove exit to near Albert Lea were closed for several hours because of jackknifed semitrailers and were ultimately reopened as of 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Heavy snow and patchy blowing snow combined to make slippery road conditions and poor visibility. As of press time, Albert Lea had received about 8 inches of snow.

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At 1:25 p.m. Friday, two Albert Lea women were injured after their car rear-ended a snowplow in the southbound lanes of I-35 south of Clarks Grove at milepost 16.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Adriana Lazaro, 34, was the driver of the 2011 Acura Sedan and was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea for her injuries. A passenger, Isidro Lazaro, 62, was also injured and was taken to the hospital. Both injuries were not life-threatening.

A second passenger, Jose Huerta, 33, of Albert Lea, and the driver of the snowplow, Adam Wacholz, 33, of Hollandale, were not injured.

At 1:50 p.m., four semis southbound on I-35 near the same milemarker lost control in snowy and icy conditions and collided with each other.

Three of the four semi drivers were not injured. The fourth driver, Viktor Yermakovich, 45, of Albertville, who was driving a 2018 Volvo 80000, was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea for an injury that was not life-threatening.

At 7:06 p.m., a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, driven by Michelle Cain, 52, of St. Paul reportedly rear-ended a 2017 Freightliner semi, driven by David Cochran, 48, of Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Both vehicles were southbound on I-35, south of the Clarks Grove exit.

The State Patrol report indicates both Cain and Cochran were injured. Cain was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

Freeborn County remained under a winter weather warning through 1 a.m. Saturday.

The National Weather Service stated snowfall amounts of 6 to 10 inches were likely in the warning area, with amounts near 12 inches possible from St. James over to between Owatonna and Albert Lea.

As snow tapered off, wind chills were expected to dip, with chills of 13 below zero expected in Albert Lea Saturday morning. Wind chills were expected to reach as low as 35 degrees below zero in southwestern Minnesota to east central Minnesota, where a wind chill advisory was issued.

Look to the Tribune for more information as it becomes available.