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Trooper Warns Of Weather After Close Call

December 9, 2012, 9:15 PM by Hailey Higgins

Trooper Warns Of Weather After Close Call

It's a close call for a South Dakota state trooper guarding the road closed gate on Interstate 29 as a semi driver plows through the sign on Sunday night.

"I was watching you film and then I looked up and saw a semi who was not slowing down and he crashed right through the barricade,” trooper Matt Niles said.

Niles was standing with our KELOLAND photographer in the passing lane when a semi came crashing into the gate, sending debris flying.

The driver says he saw the troopers warning lights, but didn't see the gate.

"You see it quite a bit, especially with the weather like it is, being so slick and what not. They get fixated and they don't slow down and unfortunately crashes like that do happen, which can be avoided,” Niles said.

The road conditions are just as dangerous on I-29 near Brookings. Six cars and a semi wound up in the ditch with windows broken out and bumpers dented in.

"This is why people have to be especially careful in this type of weather. Whenever they see amber lights or flashing warning lights, they need to slow down and move over and use extra caution," Niles said.

On Sunday, there was a temporary "road closed" sign replacing the one that got hit. But, Niles is hoping people look at video like this and use it as a winter wake up call and slow down before someone gets hurt.

“He was going pretty fast, If I said I wasn’t scared to get hit at the side of the road, I would be lying to you,” Niles said.

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