This is the records summary for Sept. 23.
MnDOT urges motorists, farmers to share the road
ST. PAUL -- It's harvest time and the Minnesota Department of Transportation is urging motorists on Minnesota highways to be aware of the large farm equipment transporting crops to markets, grain elevators and processing plants.
"Record harvests are being predicted this year," said Sue Groth, state traffic engineer. "This means farmers will be making more trips than usual. Motorists need to be prepared to encounter these slow-moving farm vehicles, especially on rural, two-lane roads."
Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. The machines also make wide turns and sometimes cross over the center line. In addition, farm vehicles can create large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles. All of these factors can cause serious crashes.
In 2009, there were 151 crashes on Minnesota roads involving farm vehicles, resulting in nine fatalities and 78 injuries; seven of the injuries were serious, according to the Department of Public Safety.
"The leading contributing crash factors in farm equipment/vehicle crashes are inattention, speeding and unsafe passing," said Cheri Marti, DPS Office of Traffic Safety director. "When approaching farm equipment, motorists should slow down and use extreme caution."
Motorists are also urged to:
- Watch for debris dropped by trucks hauling sugar beets and other crops and remember, it is safer to brake or drive through debris than to veer into oncoming cars or off the road.
- Wait for a safe place to pass.
- Wear safety belts.
- Drive with headlights on at all times.
Farm equipment operators should:
- Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible.
- Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph.
- Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night.
NEW LONDON -- The theft of $38 in gas was reported around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Country Stop, 17280 Highway 23 N.E.
NEW LONDON -- The theft of a radio from a vehicle was reported around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday along Main Street. The value of the radio was estimated at $150.
Boy shot by BB gun
WILLMAR -- Willmar Police were called around 5:30 p.m. to Rice Memorial Hospital, where a 7-year-old boy was being treated for a wound caused by a BB gun pellet. The boy had been shot by a 9-year-old boy playing with a BB gun.
- Gabriel Morales-Quintero, 28, of Willmar, was sentenced Tuesday to a year and a day in prison, which was stayed, 41 days in the county jail, a $50 fine and five years of probation on a felony charge of aggravated forgery for signing employment documents in another man's name.
He was also ordered to cooperate with agents from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Three additional felony charges for forgery and aggravated forgery were dismissed.
Morales-Quintero, who is also known as Raymond Ayala-Ayala, was also sentenced to 90 days in jail, with 49 days stayed and credit for 41 days served, one year of probation and a $1,000 fine, with $950 stayed, on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge.
As part of a plea agreement, a felony charge for domestic assault by strangulation and two charges of domestic assault were dismissed.
The domestic assault charges were filed after Aug. 12, when Willmar Police were called to a home on the southeast side of the city. A woman there reported that Morales-Quintero, whom she knew as Ayala, had attempted to choke her. They had been in a relationship that she had attempted to break off. Morales-Quintero was later located and taken into custody. The next day, the woman reported several other incidents, since she moved out of the residence she shared with Morales-Quintero, where he assaulted her, including hitting her with a car door.
The investigation into Morales-Quintero's use of forged documents began on Aug. 13. He had been identified as Morales during the domestic assault arrest, but had been arrested in 2007 for careless driving in the Ayala name.
The man's booking photo and fingerprints were sent to ICE to determine if he had contact with federal agents. According to ICE, U.S Border Patrol agents had contact with Morales on four days in March 2006. He had identified himself as a Mexican citizen. The booking photo and fingerprints matched the person stopped by border patrol.
Information from the Department of Vehicle Services showed that a person who identified himself as Ayala had applied for a driver's license in April 2007 and provided a Puerto Rican birth certificate and Social Security number.
Life Science Innovations, the parent company to Willmar Poultry Company, provided employment forms, including a W-4 form signed by Ayala in September 2007.