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Ice Sends Drivers Into The Ditch

March 4, 2013, 5:52 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Ice Sends Drivers Into The Ditch

The work week got off to a rough start for many drivers.  Interstate 29 resembled a skating rink north of Dell Rapids.  Dozens of drivers went into the ditch.

Fog and mist were easy for drivers to see along Interstate 29.  What wasn't so easy for some to spot was the ice forming on the highway.

"It sneaks up on you.  It looks kind of wet and it's an actual sheet of ice," truck driver Samuel Johnson said.

Johnson is hauling soap.  The Georgia-based truck driver was making his way through South Dakota when he got a literal crash course in driving through these conditions.  Some of the worst of it stretched from Brookings into southwest Minnesota.

"Basically, you don't feel the traction no more and your trailer starts taking off in one direction and the cab in another and you just have to steer your way through it to get it back under control," Johnson said.

Even though conditions on the roads did improve throughout the morning hours, some of those who experienced the worst of it say they've had enough for the day.

"Sitting here probably until tomorrow, then I'll head out," Johnson said.

Sanding trucks did their best to improve the roads and Johnson is hopeful for better conditions when he returns.  He, like others, is asking for everyone to cooperate when driving becomes extra difficult, even from those in smaller cars.

"They give you plenty of room.  They see it coming before you do," Johnson said.

And with some sense and slower speeds, he hopes everyone travels safely.

Some of those who went into the ditch were able to drive their way back out.  Others had to be pulled out.  Some vehicles were left sitting in the ditch until they could be pulled out when conditions were better and safe to do the roadside work.


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