Slippery road conditions lead to 470 crashes across Minnesota

Minnesota State Patrol reports there were 357 crashes between 5-10 a.m. Saturday. (LaleeVang)

Saturday morning and early afternoon, Minnesota State Patrol says first responders have responded to 470 crashes across the state as roadways quickly iced over.

Of the 470 crashes, 43 involved injuries, and two were fatal. There were also 270 spinouts and 13 jackknifed semis.

Several roads were temporarily closed Saturday morning as authorities responded to numerous crashes. Metro Transit also suspended bus service until conditions improved.

Deputies in Stearns County responded to a fatal crash around 4:30 a.m. in Brockway Township. According to investigators, a vehicle when off the road near 125th Avenue and 440th Street and crashed into a tree line. The victim was thrown from the vehicle during the crash.

In Lino Lakes, troopers responded to another deadly crash around 6:30 a.m. According to Minnesota State Patrol, an 82-year-old man was killed when his vehicle went off I-35E and into the ditch, rolling over. Investigators say the man was not wearing a seatbelt during the crash.

In Edina, we caught up with an Uber driver whose vehicle ended up slamming into a power pole. When he approached the slope on West 66th Street, he realized it was too icy and too steep for him to make it down. Unfortunately, when he tried to stop, it was too late.

"All the sudden, I saw how steep it was and I tried to stop, and I couldn’t stop and I keep sliding," driver Bari Niaz said. "Luckily I’m okay, but I hit the pole really hard and my truck is damaged, and thank god I am alive, that’s the main thing. It was really scary and really slippery.”

And it all happened as Nick Kozel was out, trying to walk his dog.

"I heard this truck coming down the street, out of control and he blew through the post," Kozel recounted.

The early morning freezing rain causing hundreds of other scary moments across the state Saturday.

And it became one for many across Minnesota. For anyone that had to go anywhere Saturday morning, ice skates seemed to be the safest mode of transportation. For Niaz, the slick conditions were a learning opportunity for himself and a teaching moment for others.

"Tell everyone stay home," he said. "Don’t come out, that is my advice to everybody. It's really bad right now."

Road conditions were starting to improve Saturday evening as temperatures get above freezing. But this ice and freezing rain could continue to be a problem for areas like southwestern Minnesota through Sunday.