Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn says traveling back to the Faribault area from Alexandria he noticed on a foggy day a lot of people did not have their lights on.  A reminder it's the law in Minnesota to have your lights on whenever there is any kind of precipitation.  The Sheriff also says this morning his Deputies responded to three injury crashes within a half hour time frame.  He adds there were a number of other crashes due to the freezing rain that passed through Rice County.

Sheriff Dunn says, "We would like to remind all drivers to slow down when driving in inclement weather.  These three crashes were all preventable crashes.  If people slow down and drive for the conditions, these could have been prevented.  We are very fortunate these crashes didn't result in more serious injuries.  Please slow down."

The first call was a 6:23 this morning.  A two vehicle crash at the intersecton of Faribault Boulevard (Highway 3) and 145th Street East in Bridgewater Township.  Deputies determined a vehicle travelling north on Highway 3 attempted to pass another vehicle lost control of their vehicle, struck the vehicle they were attempting to pass, entered the west ditch and rolled several times.  There were no passengers in either vehicle.  Driver of the passing vehicle was Driving after Revocation and was transported to Northfield Hospital then taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for more treatment and evaluation.  His injuries are believed to be non-life threatening.  Driver of the other vehicle was uninjured.  No identities were released.

At 6:51 this morning Rice County deputies, Faribault Fire and North Ambulance were sent to a one vehicle rollover on I-35 southbound in Wells Township.  The driver, Benjamin Rattle, 32, of Minneapolis was the lone occupant of the vehicle.  Rattle was going south on I-35 and lost control on the slippery roadway, entered the west ditch and rolled numerous times.  He was treated at the scene for injuries and take to District One Hospital in Faribault with injuries not believed to be life threatening.

At 6:54 a.m. authorities were dispatched to a head-on collision on Albers Avenue, just south of Babcock Avenue in Walcott Township.  Upon investigation deputies learned a pickup traveling south on Albers Avenue collided with a northbound SUV.  The driver of the SUV, Brianna Dircks, 28 of Medford lost control of her vehicle crossed the centerline and struck the pickup head-on.  The pickup driver was Michael Boeddeker, 51, of Morristown.

There were two occupants in the Dircks vehicle ages 4 and 9 months and both appeared to be uninjured.  They were in child safety seats.  Boedekker reported minor injuries and refused treatment according to the Rice County Sheriff's Department news release.  All occupants of the Dircks vehicle were evaluated at the scene and taken by private vehicle to a medical facility to get checked out.

Both drivers were wearing their seat belts.

Salt Needed for Sidewalks and Steps. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld