The icy roads caused 61 vehicles to pileup on the westbound lane of Minnesota’s Highway 55 on Monday. The accident occurred in the afternoon during icy conditions.
According to State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske, what ignited the incident were two vehicles that lost control and crashed due to the weather conditions. Afterwards, a semi skidded towards the first two vehicles, causing all the westbound lanes to be blocked.
More than four dozen vehicles then added to the chain reaction as they crashed into each other, leaving the highway in a litter of vehicles.
Roeske tallied the final count of vehicles at 61.
Fortunately, none of the drivers and passengers involved in the pileup was majorly harmed. Only one person was brought to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. The damages to vehicles behind the semi were also reported to be minor.
Joe Mueller was present during the pileup and was able to capture the incident on video. He tried to help the motorists who were involved in the accident, asking them if they were okay, and helping them cross the barrier to get away from the site of the incident. The video shows the length of the highway and cars slipping and sliding, adding to the pileup.
As a result of the crash, the Mendota Bridge had to be closed. It re-opened at 2:45 p.m., nearly two hours after the first crash.
According to Dispatcher Don Zenanko, the area is treacherous. He also said that people need to be extra cautious and remember how to drive safely in winter. The roads were not deep in snow, but there was just enough snow to cause some areas to be slippery.
Aside from the 61-vehicle pileup, there were also reports of four other car accidents that occurred on the same day in nearby locations.
Image via YouTube