Take caution when driving on icy roads

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Sheriff deputies, on Jan. 16, reported that a snowmobiler received minor injuries in an accident on Highway 108 northwest of Henning and east of the town of Ottertail.

“The snowmobile driver, eastbound in a south ditch, fell off after hitting a culvert,” said a sheriff deputy. 

The driver sustained hip pain but hospitalization was not required.

Take caution when

driving on icy roads

When the roads are covered in ice or snow, driving becomes much more dangerous.

“The tires have less grip so a car takes longer to respond to the brakes, accelerator and steering,” said a sheriff deputy.

The Minnesota State Highway Patrol says that driving more than 45 miles per hour is beyond the limitations to prevent a vehicle from fishtailing, oversteering or slowing on an incline.

“Some more severe types of icy roads may require even slower speeds,” said one state highway patrolman.

Maintain a greater braking distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you during conditions such as ice and snow.

Drive cautiously and do not accelerate or brake sharply. Harsh acceleration could cause the vehicle to slip and slide on ice and result in the driver losing control.

Driver injured during

icy roads, crosswinds

Bad road conditions and strong winds resulted in a traffic injury to a driver at 3:35 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, near the intersection of Highways 75 and 8, north of Bluffton in  the extreme eastern section of Otter Tail County.

A woman was headed west on Highway 8 when she lost control of her vehicle during icy roads and crosswinds. The vehicle entered the north ditch and rolled.

Her injuries were non-life threatening but she was treated at a nearby hospital.

Traveling was dangerous on Tuesday, Jan. 18

Otter Tail County sheriff deputies and members of the State Highway Patrol said many roads in west central Minnesota presented severe challenges due to ice and strong winds on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

There were several vehicles in ditches, spinouts, jackknifed semis throughout the region and minor injuries.

Late Tuesday afternoon vehicles drove only 15 miles per hour over a nine-mile stretch from Underwood to Fergus Falls, along Highway 210, due to whiteouts and icy roadways.

Fraudsters posing as

bank representatives

County residents are urged to beware of potential internet scams when some fraudsters are posing as bank representatives. 

Some of those fraudsters, in recent days, have contacted some county residents, through the internet, saying they are representatives of Wells Fargo bank.

The county sheriff’s office, and other law enforcement agencies, urge people to never click on a suspicious link where fraudsters often ask for Social Security numbers and other private information.

“Watch out for unusual messages over the internet with urgent tones,” said a representative of one of Minnesota’s law enforcement agencies. “Genuine Wells Fargo texts won’t have a sense of urgency about them. Their intention will be to give you information, not extract it.”

If you are unsure whether or not a legitimate message is coming from Wells Fargo, call the Wells Fargo security number (1-800-869-3557) or call the county sheriff office at (218) 998-8555.

Other dangerous areas in Otter Tail County, into the evening hours, were along other stretches of Highway 210, Interstate 94, Highway 1 and Highways 35, 59 and 110.