Multiple blowouts blamed on mystery road hazard

Multiple tire blowouts on a Minneapolis freeway entrance ramp are blamed on a mystery road hazard

MINNEAPOLIS -- Every flat tire tells a story.

Alysha Price of Maple Grove had two blowouts on an I-94 entrance ramp in Minneapolis Wednesday night, and she wasn't alone.

"A slew of cars came along in the next 15 minutes, and one after one they joined me on the shoulder of the freeway," Price recalled.

When she exited her Mercedes sedan to document the damage, Price found at least 15 other cars pulled over in the same spot, near the Broadway Ave. bridge.

The Minnesota State Patrol confirmed multiple vehicles were sidelined by blowouts in the approach lane to westbound I-94 due to "roadway damage" and that the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation was dispatched to the area.

MnDOT crews patched several pot holes overnight, but it was unclear Thursday which road hazard had claimed so many tires in a short period of time.

"I felt my car hit kind of a hole, and my front driver tire was immediately lodged into kind of a trap," Price told KARE. "I couldn't get out of it. I couldn’t control my car to kind of veer to the right."

At that point she heard her front driver's side tire pop. Shortly after that the rear driver's side tire blew out.

"I luckily made it the shoulder, but not far enough over to feel safe from being hit by another car. I feel very lucky that nobody was hurt, with all of those cars suddenly hit."

Tow trucks and law enforcement were tied up at the time responding to flash flooding prompted by a major storm that had moved into the northern Twin Cities metro area, and those heavy rains eventually moved over the spot where cars were getting flats.

Price said that she and the other motorists began to compare notes as they waited for the tow trucks to arrive, and none of them could recall getting any advance notice of a hole or major rut in the roadway.

"Nothing to just alert you to just slow down, and as you’re entering on the freeway you pick up speed to join the traffic," Price explained.

"It was terrifying, struggling to get my tires out of that groove, and just being alone at that time of night, an it was very dark on the freeway."

MnDOT has a claims process for those looking to be reimbursed for the cost of their tires and other expenses thay may be due to road hazards.

To learn more about filing a claim go to this link: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/trafficeng/tortclaims/


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