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Ice-glazed roads blamed in 2-day rash of crashes

WILLMAR -- Ice-glazed roadways were to blame for a rash of accidents Sunday and Monday in the Willmar area.

Willmar Police Department officers responded to reports of three hit-and-run accidents, seven accidents with property damage only and two personal-injury accidents from the start of the freezing mist at 9 p.m. Saturday until late Monday afternoon.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office responded to four accidents during this period, and Minnesota State Patrol officers were called to at least two accident scenes in Kandiyohi County.

Two people were treated for injuries at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar after a two-vehicle collision at 9:50 a.m. Monday near the Kennedy Elementary School on Seventh Street Southwest.

Tabitha Trevino, 38, of Willmar, was southbound on Seventh Street when her 1989 Dodge mini-van and a 1999 Trailblazer driven by Ron Andreen, 78, collided. Trevino and passengers Roxanne Solis, 23, and Annysa Trevino, 4, were transported to Rice Memorial Hospital, with Tabitha Trevino and Solis receiving treatment for minor injuries.

Willmar police also responded to an accident at 12:18 p.m. Monday when a 2006 Chrysler Sebring driven by Heather Steinborn, 23, of Willmar, slid off First Street Northeast/Kandiyohi County Road 41 and into the parking lot of the Lakeland Broadcasting, where it caused a chain reaction collision with three parked vehicles. The Chrysler struck a 1997 Pontiac which struck a 2005 Chevrolet Impala which struck a 2004 Saturn.

Willmar police also responded to a mishap Sunday morning on Lakeland Avenue Southeast that sent one woman to the hospital, damaged three vehicles and two utility poles, according to the accident report.

Maria Torres, 34, of Willmar, was transported by ambulance for non-life-threatening injuries suffered around 10:26 a.m. Sunday on the 1000 block of Lakeland Avenue near the YMCA. Torres had just crested the hill when she lost control of her 1999 Dodge Durango and struck a utility pole. The vehicle came to a stop on Lakeland Avenue.

Michelle Otteson, 27, of Kandiyohi, was driving a 2000 Chevrolet sport-utility vehicle around the stopped vehicle when a 2002 GMC Sierra pickup driven by Steven Ahmann, 58, of Willmar, crested the hill and struck the rear ends of both the Durango and Chevrolet, pushing the Durango into another utility pole.

The Durango was totaled and the other two vehicles sustained varying degrees of damage.

Other area accidents include a one-vehicle accident west of Montevideo on U.S. Highway 212 that injured one man. Christopher Lee, 26, apparently lost control and left the highway and rolled his 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe around 3 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

He was transported to the Chippewa County-Montevideo Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The Yellow Medicine Sheriff's Department reported that Rafael Latamble of Granite Falls was transported to the Granite Falls Hospital after she lost control of her vehicle and it rolled over around 1:43 p.m. on Sunday on County Road 5 near 440th Street.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

(320) 214-4335