Eight State Troopers hit in past three days

Categories: Winter
Watch out for those squad cars!
Eight Minnesota State Troopers have been struck in winter-related accidents in the past three days because Minnesota drivers just aren't paying attention.

The recent crashes bring the total number of troopers hit to 31 this winter. Last year at this time, 13 troopers had been hit. There were two crashes Sunday, four on Monday, and two more yesterday.

Two incidents were serious enough that the troopers had to spend the night in the hospital.

"They were on icy roads, but to be honest with you, really they've all been cases of people driving too fast or not paying attention," says Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol. "They're just going too fast, or it's too late, and they end up crashing into them."

Last night, State Trooper Nate Walton was in Mankato, pulled over to help a car in a ditch on an icy stretch of Highway 14 in Nicollet County, when a semi hauling a double trailer tried to pass. The second trailer swung out and hit the trooper's car.

A car struck this squad car at Silver Lake
Also last night, Trooper Tim Peterson was helping a drunk driver who had stalled at I-694 and Silver Lake when another car came by and hit his squad car. That trooper had to go to the hospital overnight.

"The roads were described as dry and clear," says Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol. "I wouldn't say that that one was weather-related."

Here's a rundown of the other incidents.


A semi truck struck a squad car that was pulled over onto the side of the road on Highway 7 in St. Cloud, but no one was injured.

A trooper was at a crash scene in a traffic lane at 35W and Highway 36 Monday morning, when a vehicle lost control and hit the back of his squad. The trooper sustained minor injuries.

State Trooper Mike Bell was pulled over at 94 on the exit to Highway 23, when a semi pulled behind him and hit the back of his squad. Bell was taken to a hospital in St. Cloud with non-life-threatening injuries.

At 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon, a trooper was helping a vehicle partially off the road at Highway 52 and 100th Avenue in Goodhue County when a car ran right into him. That trooper suffered some minor injuries.


At around 4 p.m., a state trooper had pulled over to help at an accident on 494 at County Road 6, in Plymouth. Another vehicle lost control and hit the squad, but the trooper wasn't hurt.

Just after 6 p.m., 30-year-old Trooper Brian Bammert was outside of his squad car at a crash scene on I-394 and Penn, when another vehicle came sliding right into him. Bammert saw the car jumping and apparently leaped out of the way of the bumper, landing on the windshield instead. He had minor injuries to his leg and his hand but was in good enough shape to drive himself to the hospital.

Start seeing the troopers, people.

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Logic poking through
Logic poking through

I'll start by saying, people need to pay more attention while driving. But has any research been done to see if having converted so many of the state trooper vehicles to "unmarked" vehicles playing a role in the crashes?I'm sure having all the lights hidden in the vehicle get them a few extra tickets each year, but it would appear that the cost of being invisible to traffic for ticket purposes is quickly being overshadowed by trooper safety and accident related costs? I think they should go back to having huge light bars on top of the cars and highly reflective markings on all sides of the vehicles.

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