Snow-related crash in creek bed ends with timely rescue


It's not at all uncommon for cars to skid off the road when snowy weather moves into Minnesota, and Monday was no exception.

Slick road conditions contributed to roughly 265 car crashes between midnight on Monday to 11 a.m. Tuesday across Minnesota, according to the State Patrol. There were 50 accidents Monday on a single stretch of I-94 between St. Cloud and Moorhead, MPR News reported. Statewide on Monday, three people died in weather-related crashes.

Last year, there were more than 5,200 crashes in snowy conditions in Minnesota, according to state data.

Those are the statistics. Now here is a story from WCCO of one of those crashes, near Mora, roughly 70 miles north of the Twin Cities. It's the tale of a jogger who came to the rescue of a mother and son. It's also a story in which the snow was likely both the cause of the crash and the factor that led to a timely save, WCCO reports.

Jogger Jim Morrison told WCCO that he was on his routine morning run on a quiet rural road, noting deer tracks and turkey tracks in the snow – and then car tracks that led off the road, through a fence and into the creek bed. That's where Morrison found a car that had rolled into the water. Driver Janelle Ammerman pleaded for help for her teenage son, Shane Otterson. He was caught upside down in his seatbelt, she told Morrison.

With the help of a neighbor, Morrison freed Otterson, and remarkably, neither he nor his mother suffered injuries.

“Ironically, the snow is what caused the problem,” Morrison told WCCO. “But if it wasn’t for the snow, I wouldn’t have even seen the vehicle down there.”

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