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Semi plunges off bridge into icy lake near Sauk Centre; driver OK



A semitrailer truck driver smashed a window to climb out of his cab as it sank after plunging into an icy lake in central Minnesota on Monday.

Shawn Curry, 48, of Olivia, was driving north on Hwy. 71 about 9:45 a.m. when his rig crashed through a guard rail, went off a bridge and landed in Sauk Lake, the Minnesota State Patrol said.

The 2013 Peterbilt Tractor was carrying animal parts when it veered to the right as it crossed the bridge north of Sauk Centre. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, said Sgt. Jesse Grabow.

Curry, who was wearing a seat belt,  was taken by ambulance to Sauk Centre Hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

MVTA reports 1 percent ridership growth, 2.92 million rides provided in 2017

The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority saw a slight uptick in ridership in 2017, rising 1 percent from 2016, the transit agency announced Friday.

The state's second largest transit agency provided 2,924,364 rides last year, the second highest total in the agency's history

Express routes from the southern suburbs to downtown Minneapolis accounted for 64 percent of the MVTA's ridership. Of its top 10 routes in terms of ridership, six served downtown Minneapolis. Leading the way was Route 460 from Burnsville  to downtown Minneapolis with 408,286 rides followed by Route 477 from Lakeville and Apple Valley with 351,536 rides.

Other routes with more than 100,000 rides included Route 465 from Burnsville to Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota (243,340), Route 470 from Eagan to downtown Minneapolis (117,652) and Route 490 from Prior Lake and Shakopee to downtown Minneapolis (116,884).

Another route, No. 495 which runs between Shakopee, Burnsville and the Mall of America in Bloomington, saw steady growth, the agency said. Monthly ridership jumped from 3,526 in November 2016 to 10,714 in November 2017.

The route, which serves the new Amazon Fulfillment Center, will begin stopping at Mystic Lake Casino starting Saturday.

“With growing congestion and construction projects in the metro, public transit offers an inexpensive alternative to commuters and transit-dependent riders while also getting more vehicles off the roads,” said MVTA Executive Director Luther Wynder.

MVTA is the public transit provider for the south metro cities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Prior Lake, Rosemount, Savage and Shakopee.