Injuries to those involved were non-life threatening
By Ryan Gueningsman
Two people were transported by ambulance to an area hospital Tuesday afternoon from the scene of an accident that could be described as looking a lot worse than it was.
A call was received just after 5 p.m. regarding an accident with unknown injuries in the 9000 block of Highway 12 in Independence.
While en route, officers from West Hennepin Public Safety (WHPS) were advised that there were injuries and a commercial motor vehicle was involved, according to WHPS.
Upon arrival, WHPS Officer Tim Maass observed there were actually three commercial motor vehicles involved, as well as a passenger car that had been struck.
The two occupants of the passenger car were injured and needed to be extricated from the vehicle by the Delano Fire Department.
Preliminary investigation of the crash has revealed that a tree spade truck, driven by Matthew Matter of Buffalo, was stopped westbound on Highway 12, waiting to make a left-hand turn.
Stopped behind the spade truck, was a westbound side dump tractor trailer unit driven by Ronald Pierskalla of Annandale.
As these two were stopped in traffic, a Cemstone cement truck, driven by Paul Reardon of Waverly, also westbound, approached them and crashed into the side dump semi.
“There were no physical signs that the truck attempted to stop before the collision,” according to WHPS.
The collision propelled the side dumper forward, lifting the front wheels of the semi-tractor off the ground, and the cement truck then careened left into opposing eastbound traffic.
At this point, the cement truck struck an eastbound passenger car, a 2007 Toyota Camry, driven by Eugene Rodi, of Minneapolis.
Both Rodi and his passenger, wife Sharon, were transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
Reardon was also transported to the hospital for observation.
The damage to the cement truck and Camry was severe, according to WHPS.
“Officers and witnesses on scene stated it looked as if a bomb went off,” according to WHPS.
Highway 12 was shut down for approximately four hours to investigate the scene and clear the road. All occupants involved in this crash were wearing their seatbelts.
“Evidence of the impact involving this crash would demonstrate that both of the Rodis and Reardon would have died had they chosen to not wear their seatbelts,” said WHPS Director Ray McCoy, who issued a reminder to all drivers “to pay attention and focus on their task of driving. This wasn’t an accident it was a crash, and it nearly cost three people their lives.”
WHPS was assisted by the Medina Police Department, Delano Fire and Rescue, Wright County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.
Charges are pending upon completion of the investigation, according to WHPS.