Construction zones are a common site on Minnesota highways during the summer. The Department of Transportation is busy repairing or improving roads, and farmers are busy tending to their crops. In some cases, these activities create a potentially fatal conflict for the state’s drivers. A recent collision near Chokio shows how agriculture and road construction create a dangerous summer driving environment.
According to the State Highway Patrol, an SUV with two occupants was heading east on Minnesota Highway 28 when it entered a posted construction zone. For reasons that are yet unexplained, the SUV began to fishtail soon after it entered the construction zone. It spun into an eastbound 1997 Freightliner truck that was engaged in agricultural work. The driver of the SUV was not wearing a seatbelt, and he suffered fatal injuries. The passenger in the SUV suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo. The Highway patrol said that she was not wearing a seat belt. Neither the driver nor the passenger in the Freightliner was injured.
The Highway Patrol said that the Freightliner was “engaged in agricultural activities” but no details were given. The portion of Highway 28 where the collision occurred was closed for construction work, and motorists are advised to use a marked detour. A number of factors could have contributed to the accident. The SUV’s fishtailing may have been caused by a sudden attempt by the driver to reduce speed after he saw the Freightliner. The loose gravel on the surface of the road may have also contributed to the SUV’s loss of control. The speed of the SUV must be determined, and the exact nature of the Freightliner’s work and location on the highway must also be more exactly described. Alcohol has been ruled out as a causative factor.
Anyone who has suffered an injured or lost a loved one under similar circumstances might want to explore pursuing a claim for damages. The assistance of an experienced accident lawyer could be invaluable. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate the evidence, suggest legal strategies and provide an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.