SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Chris Lindner knew last Thursday would be a busy day on the job when he saw snow falling in the morning.
That’s why it was no surprise he ended up parked on the shoulder of Interstate 90 with his lights flashing, warning drivers of a crash ahead.
“That’s when I heard the loudest, thunderous sound I’ve ever heard in my entire life,” Lindner said.
A loaded semi had slammed into the back of his patrol car, forcing it into to the ditch. A fellow trooper pulled him out of his SUV.
“He says ‘Sarge, we’ve got to get you out of here. There’s a semi above you.’ It was at that point I looked out my window again and I could literally see the semi tractor in the air suspended right above me,” Lindner said.
An ambulance took Lindner to the hospital where he learned he wasn’t seriously hurt.
If you ask Lindner, it wasn’t luck that saved his life that day.
“I know today, with every being, ounce of me, that it was God that protected me. Not only did he have angels hold that semi up and that semi was not allowed to go any further, he protected me within that vehicle. I don’t know how I’m breathing. I don’t know how I don’t have a broken neck,” Lindner said.
Meanwhile, the crash is a good reminder for drivers to be prepared for winter driving.
“I don’t believe this driver intended to possibly hurt or kill me, but in the end it still happened. So as always, when road conditions are deteriorating, we want drivers to reduce their speeds, we want them to increase their following distances, and when it’s safe to do so or it’s getting bad. Pull off, wait. The storms will pass,” Lindner said.
Taking extra care on the roads could help prevent scary moments like this one.
Another option is to stay home when winter weather strikes.
You can use the South Dakota 511 website to view the road conditions, and our KELOLAND storm tracker app to stay up to date on what the weather is doing.