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This morning, a car lost control while merging onto I-94 in Alexandria and crashed into the medium. A semitrailer stopped to help and then a third car hit both the stopped vehicles. The three killed were in the third vehicle. The accident is still under investigation, but weather conditions and speed look to be contributing factors.

Winter road tips from DPS and MnDOT include:

  • Always use seat belts.

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly on icy/snow-covered roads to retain traction and avoid skids.

  • Do not use cruise control.

  • Do not “power up” hills, which may cause wheels to spin. Build momentum before reaching a hill and don’t stop while traveling uphill. Reduce speed before going downhill.

  • Know your brakes. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of the foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.

  • Give yourself plenty of travel time. Don’t put your schedule before safety.

  • Clear snow and ice from vehicle windows, hood, headlights, brake lights and directional signals.

  • Headlights must be turned on when it is snowing or sleeting.

Most police officers asked say the key is usually to Just Slow Down.

Sympathy goes out to all involved and their families. As with any death in a Minnesota motor vehicle collision, there are a number of issues that will need to be reviewed. My partner, Joe Crumley, addressed this topic in a recent article for the Minnesota Lawyers Trial magazine. I was interviewed last year on the same topic. In this case sorrow for the families of those involved goes out.

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