A winter storm on March 16 caused a serious traffic accident involving a South Dakota Highway Patrol (SDHP) cruiser and a semi-truck.
The accident occurred during a severe blizzard that hit the Midwest. The winter storm created hazardous driving conditions and reportedly caused numerous accidents across the state.
According to the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office, an SDHP trooper was providing routine traffic control for an accident on the Interstate 90 near MP 395 when a semi-truck lost control and barreled into the trooper’s cruiser.
Police said the driver of the semi-truck was traveling too fast on the snowy roads despite poor visibility.
The trooper sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was treated at a hospital in Sioux Falls.
The SDHP posted a message on Facebook urging drivers to drive safely in inclement weather: “Slow down! You have somewhere to be. Ice and snow, go slow.”
The driver of the semi-truck was cited for overdriving during the blizzard.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a winter weather advisory for southeastern South Dakota until 7 a.m. March 17, warning motorists of dangerous driving conditions.
“Plan on slippery road conditions. Blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility, with near blizzard conditions possible at times, especially during falling snow and in rural areas,” the advisory stated. “The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches.”
At the time of this writing, the NWS predicted that some areas of the Upper Midwest would receive over 12 inches of snow by March 19, with other areas expected to experience freezing rain or rain.