Pothole triggers airbag, driver suffers concussion


What do April showers bring?

The mother of all pothole seasons.

In some places a flower would have to grow nine inches tall before emerging from the craters that have formed on Twin Cities streets this spring.

In St. Paul, a street maintenance supervisor told the Pioneer Press this is the worst year for potholes he's seen. All the rain that's fallen in recent days has made the holes even worse and has kept repair crews off the streets, Chris Anderson says.

The newspaper measured a number of St. Paul potholes that were 3 to 6 inches deep and found one 9-incher on Fairview Avenue. A passing motorist stopped because he thought he'd lost a hubcap when his car struck it.

Losing a hubcap would be bad. But when a pothole punches you in the eye, that's gotta be the worst.

FOX 9 spoke with Dustin Duarte, who was treated at a hospital for injuries suffered when his car's airbags deployed as he hit a Minneapolis pothole. You can see the photos of the aftermath above. FOX says Duarte was treated at a hospital for a mild concussion and a scratched cornea and plans followup visits with an eye doctor.

"I was just driving along, listening to music, and Mike Tyson punches me in the face," Duarte told FOX. He says his car insurance will cover his medical expenses but he wants the road fixed. (Avoid 46th Street at Minnehaha, he says.)

"It's Minnesota. We all have pothole problems, tires get blown out and what not. But when it comes to this, this is too much. I could have easily swerved off the road and killed myself or someone else," Duarte told KARE 11.

Thankfully, most of us have not been hospitalized by potholes. But there's been plenty of grousing.

The folks who take care of the streets are aware of the problem, have heard the complaints, and in Hennepin County's case, issued a statement explaining that they're doing what they can and inviting motorists to use their Report a Pothole form.

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