VIDEO: Semi Truck Slams Into Minnesota State Patrol Officers During Snowstorm
KARE11 – Law enforcement officers responding to a crash scene became victims themselves when an out-of-control semi struck their squad cars near Rogers, Minn. late Monday night.
Minnesota State Patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske says it happened on Interstate 94 eastbound, a mile from Highway 101. A Rogers Police officer and a state trooper were responding to a jackknifed semi when the driver of a second semi lost control and careened into the two squad cars. Both officers were in their vehicles at the time of the collision.
Rogers Police officer Jarred Peterson was transported to the hospital to be checked out as a precaution.
“He’s got a lot of soft tissue injuries,” said Rogers Police Chief Jeffrey Beahan. “He’s gonna be really sore. He had some bruising that was evident at the Hospital, but at this time, they don’t believe that he has any internal injuries and no broken bones.”
The trooper was checked out on the scene and did not require further treatment.
Beahan says his officer was in a law enforcement SUV based on the Ford Explorer platform. He says the vehicle has a spare tire and a special frame setup in back designed to protect those inside during a rear-end collision.
“When you look at a fully loaded semi hitting the back of a squad car and the fact that the officer walked away from it is nothing short of a miracle,” Beahan marveled.
The law enforcement officers weren’t the only ones who survived a close call. Tow truck driver Lance Burda was on the scene to remove the first jackknifed semi when he saw the second truck headed right for him.
“We just looked up. Another semi, that was jackknifed coming spinning at us and squad cars getting knocked left and right,” Burda recalled. . “We kind of made a run for it.”
Road conditions were extremely icy at the time of the crash. “I was out there last night trying to stand on that ice and it was unbelievable. It was worse than a skating rink,” said Chief Beahan. “So, we obviously take that into consideration, but regardless, it’s the driver’s responsibility to slow their vehicle down and drive it such that they can stop and avoid collisions.”
Burda concurs with the chief, putting the onus on the semi driver. “Yeah, everybody’s supposed to slow down and move over for flashing lights on the side of the road. It wasn’t like it hard to see us.”
No word yet if charges will be filed in the incident.
At the time of the accident, heavy snow was falling in and around Rogers, Minn. — a small suburb of Minneapolis, located about 25 miles northwest of downtown Minneapolis. According to the time stamp on the video, the crash occurred about 10:45 p.m., local time.
Archive radar data for that area shows, a heavier band of precipitation moving through Rogers around that time. The additional precipitation diminished visibility and added slush to already slick and dangerous roads. Luckily, much of the snow has moved out of the area and road conditions improved on Tuesday.