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News from around the state

Plastic tarp flies off truck on Hwy. 52, envelops SUV driving behind

A motorist traveling on Hwy. 52 in Inver Grove Heights last Wednesday had quite the unusual experience. A large piece of heavy-duty plastic flew off a dump truck and wrapped around his SUV.

The driver was heading south on Hwy. 52 near Upper 55th Street when he saw the jettisoned plastic come his way. He slowed down and pulled off to the side of the road, but could not get out of the way.

A State Trooper caught the incident on his dash cam and posted it to Facebook.

"Well, that's something you don't see every day," the posting said. It also came with a reminder for motorists to secure their loads to avoid a potentially deadly situation.

In this case nobody was hurt, but objects falling off vehicles is a big safety concern and a frequent occurrence. A report from the Government Accountability Office found that there are 51,000 incidents involving unsecured loads in the United States each year, killing 440 people and injuring 10,000 people.

The patrol also is using the incident to remind drivers why it's important to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the roads and not on their phones.


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.