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Icy roads, fog lead to weekend accidents

Freezing rain, fog and icy roads resulted in multiple accidents in Otter Tail County last weekend, Jan. 10 through Jan. 12. Injuries were reported but none were life-threatening.

Following is a summary of the incidents.

One injured near Perham, spends several hours in car

A driver and only occupant of a vehicle was injured when he left the roadway and struck a tree near Big Pine Lake, east of Perham, at 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 11.

The driver, Andrew Steven Maves, 25, of Vergas, didn’t receive assistance until 10 a.m., later in the morning, and spent several hours in his vehicle in freezing temperatures until a passerby found him and took him to Perham Health.

He reportedly suffered from non-life threatening injuries, according to the sheriff’s office.

Alcohol may have been a factor in the accident. A citation was issued.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Mosquito Heights Road and 440th Street.

Rural Underwood accident injures one

The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office reported an accident north of Underwood, at the intersection of Highways 35 and 18, at 4:38 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11.

One person was injured.

Daniel Jeffrey Erickson, 22, of Underwood, was traveling eastbound on Highway 18 when he became lightheaded and drifted off the right side of the road. The vehicle entered the ditch, which was covered in deep snow. It then continued east in the ditch and struck a driveway approach, later vaulting into the air.

The vehicle, a 1997 Ford F-150 pickup truck, came to rest in the deep snow in the same ditch, on the other side of the approach, sustaining moderate damage.

Erickson was transported to Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls with non-life threatening injuries. Assisting sheriff’s deputies at the scene were the Minnesota State Patrol, Underwood Rescue team and Ringdahl Ambulance.

Snowmobiler injured near Vining

The operator of an Arctic Cat snowmobile, according to the sheriff’s office, sustained injuries when he lost control of his unit at 7:11 p.m., Jan. 11, at the intersection of Highway 57 and 180th Street, southwest of Vining.

The injured snowmobiler was Daniel Robert Riley, 67, of Vining.

“Based on information from the snowmobile operator and on information collected at the scene, it appeared that the snowmobile had struck a large rock that had been concealed by the snow and darkness,” said Sheriff’s Lt. Matt McGuire. “This caused the snowmobile to jump over the rock and remain airborne for approximately 20 to 25 feet.”

Riley was thrown from the snowmobile. He sustained injuries to his leg or knee as well as possible injuries to his lower arm. He was wearing a helmet and appropriate gear.

Riley was transported to Lake Region Hospital by the Henning Ambulance Service. His snowmobile did not appear to be substantially damaged.

Also assisting at the scene of the accident were Vining First Responders and the Henning Police Department.

Two people injured in Fergus area crash

Two people were injured in a two-vehicle accident at 8:09 p.m. Jan. 10 near Fergus Falls, at the intersection of County Highway 1 and Sophus Anderson Road.

The driver, 40-year-old Jennifer Lynn Bellet of Fergus Falls, and her passenger, 66-year-old Merri-Lynn Bellet, Underwood, both sustained minor injuries and were taken to Lake Region Hospital, according to the sheriff’s office.

The other vehicle was driven by 18-year-old Zachary Matthew McKinney of Hoffman, who was not injured. He was cited for a stop sign violation and for not wearing his seatbelt.

Fergus Falls police assisted sheriff’s deputies at the scene.

Other minor accidents

Additional accidents in Otter Tail County over the weekend included a mishap at the intersection of Highways 12 and 78, south of Battle Lake; at Highway 21 and 350th Street in Perham; at the intersection of Highways 130 and 4, near Vergas; 275th and Sophus Anderson Road, northwest of Underwood; Highways 137 and 10, northwest of New York Mills; Highways 35 and 39, southwest of Underwood; and Highways 54 and 127, northeast of Ottertail city.

Tom Hintgen, Otter Tail County Correspondent