Black ice blamed for tough morning commute

VADNAIS HEIGHTS, Minn. - First responders had to extricate a driver from a vehicle after it slid off an overpass and plunged onto a frozen retention pond during Tuesday morning's commute.

It happened on the I-694 and I-35E interchange shortly after 7:30 a.m. State Patrol investigators say the driver, a 54-year-old woman from Maplewood, was driving northbound on I-35E when she lost control and her truck went over the rail and plunged off the overpass, landing on the ice below.

Vadnais Heights firefighters responded and had to cut the woman out of her 2001 Ford Ranger. The motorist was then transported to Regions Hospital, where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The crash was just one of many during the morning commute,

State Patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske tweeted that across the Twin Cities Metro troopers responded to 148 crashes between 5 and 10 a.m. Sixteen of them involved injuries. Another 37 calls came in on vehicles that had left the road or spun out.

Most of the mishaps were caused by isolated black ice, formed by the below-zero temps and car exhaust. Roeske says the rash of road trouble is not a mystery.

"It's just a matter of some slippery spots and motorists driving too fast or not recognizing them," he told KARE 11.


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