Busy Friday for officers
Wed, 02/01/2023 - 1:08pm admin
—White out conditions made driving dangerous
HOWARD COUNTY - Sheriff Tim Beckman had an overly busy Friday, as he was the only officer available for the first half of the day, with one deputy at training and others coming on duty later.
He said, “From town you would never know it was bad out in the country. There was near white out conditions in the county in spots and other spots were just fine. The problem was people didn’t have their headlights on. That made it harder to see them in the blowing snow.”
The sheriff gave a list of the incidents taking place on Friday, Jan. 27, which were reported. There were likely more accidents that weren’t reported.
8:21 a.m. — Car in the ditch Robin Ave. and 200th St. It was pulled out privately, and no damage.
8:56 a.m. — Car north-bound on V58 near 180th St. slid in the ditch. No damage, and it was pulled out.
9:00 a.m. — A car hit a large rock in the road that fell out of the back of dump truck near Quam’s Auto on Highway 9. The driver had two flat tires that were quickly replaced and she was on her way.
11:22 a.m. — A pickup slid in the ditch on Highway 63, north of Davis Corners. Beckman was unable to locate the accident. “It must have been pulled out before I arrived.”
12:36 p.m. — An SUV slid in the ditch on Highway 63 north, between 135th St. and 130th St. The driver was low on fuel and had to shut his vehicle off to conserve fuel. He had a 4% charge on his cell phone. “He was totally NOT prepared! Never let your fuel tank get below half in the winter and always have a car charger for your cell phone,” advised the Sheriff. There was no damage, and he was pulled out. It was near white out conditions at this location, and the blowing snow made the highway pure ice.
2:37 p.m. — There was a vehicle rollover in the ditch at Highway 63 and 115th St. Two adults and two children were in the vehicle. There were no injuries, but the vehicle was totaled. The occupants were from Cottage Grove, Minn. Deputy Michels drove the occupants to the sheriff's office, where they waited in the lobby until a ride from St. Paul could pick them up.
3:17 p.m. — While at the rollover, Deputy Michels reported another vehicle went in the ditch near them. There were no injuries and no damage, it was pulled out.
3:35 p.m. — Two vehicles hit on Highway 9 east of Robin Ave. Both vehicles ended up in the ditch. There were no injuries, just shook up drivers.
Beckman said, “Even though the sun was shining, and it looked fine in town, out in the country in open spaces the wind blew loose snow across the roads making it extremely slippery with near-zero visibility. Half the vehicles didn’t have their headlights on in the white out conditions.”
Some drivers are not as patient as others, and want to pass even during a white out. Add to that the danger of not having headlights on so oncoming cars can see drivers makes a person wonder how nobody was seriously hurt during the storm.