First snow of season brings slick roads, crashes

9:35 PM, Nov 19, 2011   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- The first snow of the season is being blamed for hundreds of accidents across Minnesota on Saturday.

MnDot cameras captured multiple crashes and spinouts in the metro after snow began falling midday. Lt. Eric Roeske with the State Patrol says there have been close to 450 crashes statewide between noon and 8:30 p.m. including over 100 spin outs. Twenty-five of those crashes involved injuries and two involved squad cars. About half of the crashes occurred in the metro and one fatality has been reported outside of the metro.

The westbound lanes of I-94 were shut down near St. Cloud for over two hours due to crashes between Freeport and Albany. The interstate reopened around 4 p.m.

Roeske advises motorists to allow plenty of extra time to get around the rest of the day, reduce speeds, increase following distances and anticipate heavy congestion.

KARE 11 Meteorologist Jerrid Sebesta says the the heaviest snow fell from St. Cloud to Hayward, WI, those areas saw up to five inches.  Locations like Willmar, Morris, Madison, and Benson picked up close to four inches.

The metro was on southern edge of the heaviest snow accumulating about 1 to 2 inches.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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