Northbound traffic on Interstate35W near Cliff Road in Burnsville is moving freely again Wednesday after an accident shut down a portion of the freeway for most of the afternoon.

A semitrailer truck plowed into three cars that had slowed down ahead of a maintenance project on the south metro interstate at about 11 a.m., injuring four people, said State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske. All lanes of traffic from the south were halted for about 45 minutes. After that, traffic was reduced to one lane until emergency workers cleared the accident scene at about 4 p.m.

The traffic had slowed down because of maintenance work on the bridge over the Minnesota River, and the semi driver “just didn’t recognized that traffic was slowing,” Roeske said.

The driver of the first vehicle that was struck suffered  “very serious” injuries, the lieutenant said.
Drivers of the other two vehicles and a passenger in one of those vehicles suffered non-life threatening injuries, Roeske added.

The semi driver was not hurt.

Identities of the vehicles’ occupants have yet to be released.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482