Crash in construction zone injures workers

8:33 PM, Sep 29, 2011   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - At least two people were injured overnight after a driver struck workers and equipment in a freeway construction zone overnight.

Authorities say a vehicle traveling south on Highway 280 lost control on the ramp to westbound I-94 just after 12:30 a.m..

"It is unusual for a vehicle to lose control on dry pavement without any weather issues. So, we look at speed. We look at impairment. We look at driver inattention," said Maj. Matt Langer, Assistant Chief of the Minnesota State Patrol.  

A tweet from State Patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske says the driver plowed into a dumpster and a water truck in the construction zone, knocking over two workers. They reportedly suffered minor injuries.

The two men from LeCenter and Hinckley, Minnesota were employees of the Valley Paving Company of Shakopee.  

Langer said the driver of the vehicle fled the scene on foot. Troopers later found a pistol in the car.

"We recovered a handgun in the vehicle, but we do not know, again, it is under investigation. It just sort of adds to the sort of oddity of this crash that there was also a handgun in the vehicle," noted Langer.

Two passengers in the vehicle also suffered minor injuries in the crash. They later claimed they did not know the identity of the driver.

"Whether or not you believe that is beside the point. It was the information we were left with," said Langer.

Langer echoed MnDot Commissioner Tom Sorel's call for drivers to be more cautious when approaching work zones.

"The lesson here is work zone safety. Let us be reasonable. Be careful. Let these people do their job out there trying to fix the roads and watch what we are doing," said Langer.



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