Gas trucks involved in Monday afternoon crash in Stearns County

Both drivers complained of minor injuries in the Monday afternoon crash of two gas trucks in Eden Lake Township, about seven miles east of Paynesville.


PAYNESVILLE — Emergency services responded to a two-vehicle crash involving a gas trucks Monday afternoon in Eden Lake Township, according to a news release from Stearns County Sheriff's Office.

According to the news release , when deputies arrived on scene, they found a Lakes Gas propane truck tipped over on its passenger side on the northwest corner of the intersection of County Road 34 and Lakewood Road and a Paynesville Co-Op gas truck in a ditch about 50 yards from the intersection.

The Lakes Gas truck had significant damage to the front side of the truck and the Sheriff's Office contacted multiple agencies for an evaluation and recommendations due to the possible spillage of hazardous materials.

According to the release, Robert Block, 64, of Paynesville, told deputies he was traveling westbound on County Road 34 when he noticed a Lakes Gas truck approaching the intersection on Lakewood Road, traveling northbound.

Block told deputies the Lakes Gas truck slowly entered the intersection as he was going by Lakewood Road.


The front of the Lakes Gas truck collided with the driver side of the Paynesville Co-Op truck, forcing it into the northwest ditch of the intersection. Block was able to keep his truck on its wheels after running off the roadway, according to the release.

Ronald Utsch, 69, of Albany, told deputies he was traveling northbound on Lakewood Road approaching the stop sign at the four-way intersection. He entered the intersection after checking traffic on County Road 34 and did not notice Block traveling westbound in his truck. He explained his truck tipped over onto its passenger side after colliding with the side of Block’s truck.

Both drivers complained of minor injuries and were evaluated by medical personnel on scene.

The Eden Valley Fire and Rescue and the Minnesota State Patrol also responded to the incident, reported at 2:45 p.m. Monday. The Minnesota Duty Officer , which deals with such things as hazardous materials incidents, also assisted.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at
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