Icy conditions cause more than 370 crashes Saturday

Frigid temperatures made for a dangerous commute on the roadways as black ice formed on bridges and ramps across the state.

Early Saturday morning there was a minor crash that took a turn for the worse at the I-494 bridge over the Minnesota River in Bloomington. The crash turned serious when a driver got out of their vehicle and was struck by another motorist, the Minnesota State Patrol said. 

“The roads appear fine at times, but due to these very sub-arctic temperatures, the roads are not fine and people really need to reduce their speed,” said Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the Minnesota State Patrol. 

From I-494, to I-394, to Barron County in Wisconsin, authorities urged motorists to move over and slow down after a sheriff’s deputy squad car was struck when it responded to an accident. A Minnesota State Patrol squad was also hit on Friday.

Many drivers do not realize just how slick the roads are until it is too late, authorities said. 

Fox 9 spoke with drivers around the Twin Cities about challenges they faced on the slippery roads. 

“It looks like it’s wet and you can see it’s black and very glossy,” Greg Wilson, a Minnesotan driver said. “And it was very slippery. I was slowing down and really trying to be cautious, but we got through.” 

Another driver confirmed that black ice was truly problematic on the roads Saturday. 

“Yeah, the black ice you can’t see it until you get on it and then the mistake that people make is that they hit the brakes,” Lawanda Moore, another Minnesotan driver said. “And that’s when they go out of control.” 

As the arctic blast of winter weather continues to grip the Midwest, motorists are reminded to drive defensively. 

State patrol reported that there were 370 crashes between midnight and 9 p.m. Saturday. 

Black ice tends to form in the early morning and evening, but drivers should always be prepared, authorities said.