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State Patrol: 600 Crashes & Spinouts Thursday

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – More than half a foot of snow fell on the Twin Cities Thursday morning, causing nearly 600 crashes and spinouts, the State Patrol says, and it made for some busy auto repair shops.

Brad Huber, the general manager at Hamline Auto Body in Vadnais Heights, says his shop cleared out a parking lot Thursday and was expecting about a dozen tow-ins that night.

"It's gonna get busy," Huber said.

He says Friday will entail everything from bumper repairs to major body work, totaling anywhere from $1,000 to $12,000.

State Patrol troopers saw the trouble the snow brought Thursday first-hand.

"We really did have a large volume of crashes," Lt. Eric Roeske said.

Some interstates were backed up, but many were not – making them all the more dangerous.

"Often times it's the fringe areas where volume hasn't backed things up that are the most dangerous, because they're still traveling at higher than normal speeds," Roeske said.

Afton Alps ski instructor Matthew Parker says he was only going 30 mph when he spun out into a ditch.

"I was about three minutes from my destination and just turned off the road," he said.

Five hours later, he got a tow from AAA.

If you happen to get into a fender bender or slide off the road, there are three ways to gauge if you should drive with the damage, Huber says. First off, see if the headlights work. Then, find out if the blinkers work. Finally, see if any fluid is leaking.

If you're in doubt, however, go with the tow.

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