Call it “wintry mix,” “freezing rain,” or “slushy snow,” it’s all pretty much the same. And that’s what constituted the latest blow dealt the area this week — with more than its share of powerful, gusty winds thrown in.
The collateral damage was noticeable. Garbage cans were scattered all over the neighborhoods, trees and branches shattered into the streets and power lines, and roads once again posed a hazard for motorists.
Carlton Fire, the Minnesota State Patrol, Fond du Lac Police and other area agencies responded to at least two serious accidents, with many more reported on the I-35 freeway between Cloquet and Moose Lake.
On Sunday, three people, including one child, were injured in a rollover at the intersection of I-35 and Highway 210.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a 1999 Dodge Ram driven by Kathleen Haapala of White Bear Lake, Minn., was headed northbound on I-35 at 9:36 a.m. Sunday morning when it hit ice and rolled over into the median near the Highway 210 exit.
Bystanders had stopped to assist Haapala and her passenger, 4-year-old Cameron Morney of Hugo, Minn., when another pickup truck, a Dodge Dakota driven by Lawrence Sommer of Cottage Grove, Minn., rolled over in the same spot, hitting two people in the area of the first rollover, according to the State patrol website.
Bystander Adam Roen, 32, of Eveleth was still listed in serious condition Monday at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth. Roen was injured after stopping to offer assistance at the scene of the rollover.
Moroney sustained serious injuries during the initial rollover that drew Roen’s attention but was listed in fair condition Monday morning at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth. The freeway was icy at the time of the crashes, the Patrol said.
On Monday, the State Patrol, Fond du Lac Police and Carlton Fire and Rescue responded to the report of a two-vehicle rollover crash on Highway 210 just west of I-35 at the intersection of Schmitz Road at 6:43 p.m.
According to Carlton Fire Chief Dane Johnson, a westbound 2003 Ford Superduty pickup truck driven by Jamie Ray Sailor, 43, of Duluth lost control, spun around and ended up in the eastbound lane, where it was T-boned by a 2004 Honda Accord. Megan Bodin, 19, of Carlton was a passenger in the Honda.
The pickup rolled over and the Honda ended up in the ditch.
Johnson said the Honda sustained “extremely significant” damage and Bodin, along with the unnamed driver, had to be extricated from the vehicle. The driver reportedly sustained minor injuries and Bodin sustained injuries to her lower extremities and was transported to Essentia St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth where she was listed in fair condition Thursday.
Sailor and a passenger, Kyle Ray Sailor, 18, both sustained minor injuries as well.
Johnson said the roadway at the time of the accident had about two inches of wet, slushy snow on it. All of the people involved were wearing seatbelts.
According to the State Patrol, Jamie Sailor was cited for duty to drive with due care (unreasonable speed).
Also on Monday, Esko Fire and Rescue responded to five reports of a trees down on power lines. One, along Canosia Road just north of the downtown intersection with Highway 61, knocked the power out at surrounding businesses and residences for four hours. Fire Chief Jeff Juntunen said Minnesota Power crews came in and made temporary repairs, but at the time this issue of the Pine Journal went to press a Minnesota Power truck was still holding up the pole until permanent repairs could be made. Power was restored around 6 p.m. that evening.
Juntunen said Minnesota Power has an app for the iPhone that reports system-wide outages and when crews expect local power systems to be back on line.