Near miss on Highway 52

Near miss on Highway 52

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(ABC 6 News) – A semi truck barreled down Highway 52, needing to swerve at the last moment to avoid slamming a Rochester fire engine on Monday.

While no injuries were reported in the incident, crashes involving fire trucks are more common than you might think.

In the past five years, incidents appear to trend downwards, before spiking in 2022.

In 2018, 67 crashes involved fire department vehicles in Minnesota, fell as low as 10 crashes in 2021. But in 2022, a staggering 54 fire department vehicle crashes occurred statewide.

Crash issues permeate beyond Minnesota, of course. Just south of the border in Iowa, state patrol and Iowa Department of Transportation say the daily death rate on Iowa’s roads for 2023 was 20% higher than the five year average.

The ISP says it teamed up with several states to try and cut those numbers down, but to little avail.

“When you look at last years fatalities, we worked extremely hard to get that number to come down and we could get it to come down,” said ISP Trooper Bob Conrad. “What that tells us, and tells myself, is that we need buy in from people, we need them to understand, whether they are calling 911 to let us know where those violations are, we are trying other types of enforcement projects.”

If you spot someone excessively speeding on Iowa roads, law enforcement says you should safely contact police and share a description of the vehicle, driver and location.