A Blaine man was seriously injured Saturday on Interstate 35W in Ramsey County when he was hit by a car while trying to remove a recliner from the freeway.
Sakya S. Dama, 49, was heading north on I-35W in Roseville when the recliner fell out of a trailer pulled by an SUV directly in front of him, according to the State Patrol. The SUV’s driver pulled off to the left side after realizing he’d lost some furniture, and Dama stopped his small sedan directly behind the chair.
Dama left his vehicle to pull the recliner from the roadway when another SUV came barreling into his parked car from behind at freeway speeds, the patrol said. Dama was also struck, and he was thrown into the median with his vehicle.
State Patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielson said Sunday there were multiple mistakes that led to Saturday’s dangerous sequence of events.
“Freeways are dangerous, and it’s never safe to stop in a lane,” Nielson said. “Due to the speeds and distractions, it puts the person who stopped at risk.”
Nielson also pointed to the securing of chair in the trailer, saying, “Loads need to be secured so they do not fly out. If a load is lost, immediately call 911. Troopers will do a rolling slow down of traffic, and they will retrieve the item.”
And as for the SUV that hit the car parked on the interstate, the lieutenant said, “Drivers should always be attentive and scanning 10 seconds ahead to be alert for any type of obstruction.”
Dama was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center with severe injuries and was listed in serious condition Sunday.
His passenger, Nikhil Dama, 22, of St. Paul, was treated for noncritical injuries at HCMC. Nikhil Dama was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
The SUV driver who struck Dama, Timothy M. Hanson, 28, of Coon Rapids, also suffered noncritical injuries. Hanson, who was not wearing a seat belt, was taken to Unity Hospital in Fridley.
The vehicle that lost the recliner was not involved in the crash and the 50-year-old driver, Henry L. Kennedy, of Arden Hills, was uninjured, the State Patrol said.