Woman, child safe after winter weather scareA woman and her young son are safe after getting stranded on a snow-packed road and walking home in rural southwest Dunn County Friday, law enforcement said.
A woman and her young son are safe after getting stranded on a snow-packed road and walking home in rural southwest Dunn County Friday, law enforcement said.
The woman, whose name was not released, got stuck on a snowy road about a mile from her home, Dunn County Sheriff Don Rockvoy said.
She and her toddler left the pickup and began walking but called for help shortly after, he said.
“I think she was probably quite scared at that time and didn’t realize the conditions and how cold the wind was,” Rockvoy said. “And you know, she was carrying a child against the snow and heavy winds… they were walking into the wind the whole way.”
She was carrying a cell phone and her call for help sparked a search by Dunn and Stark County law enforcement.
Rockvoy located her pickup quickly but had to backtrack because the truck was blocking the road, Rockvoy said.
An oil company had a snowplow nearby and offered assistance, which helped tremendously, he said.
“It came out and opened up the road for us so we could get the ambulance in just to check and make sure they were OK,” Rockvoy said. “It’s sparsely populated out there. I mean she walked there and that would have been the closest place to walk back to from what I could tell.”
About 15 minutes after authorities began searching they made contact with her at her home.
“I asked her why she left the pickup and she said she didn’t know what she was thinking,” Rockvoy said.
The incident is a good reminder to motorists to be safe, he said.
“Even though you’re scared and you think that it’s not that far to walk home, never leave the safety of your vehicle,” Rockvoy said. “It’s warm and even if you’re vehicle has quit mechanically, you’re out of the wind. That’s a big factor.”
The Stark County Sheriff’s Office hadn’t responded to any other motorists in trouble due to weather Friday afternoon, Sheriff Clarence Tuhy said.
Rollovers, crashes and other incidents
North Dakota Highway Patrol officers responded to three rollovers and a crash in the area Friday but Sgt. Will Vance said things could have been worse.
Nobody was injured in crashes as of Friday at about 1 p.m., he added.
A vehicle hit a guardrail near Gladstone and another rolled in the same area, Vance said.
A semi’s trailer rolled over between Killdeer and Mandaree and a third rollover was reported on Interstate 94 near Dickinson, he said.
“They’re all the result of the icy roads,” Vance said.
Two minor “fender benders” were reported in the city between midnight and about 3 p.m. Friday, Dickinson Police Capt. Dustin Dassinger said.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation issued a travel alert for the area until this morning.
The alert states motorists can still travel, but should be advised of icy roads. Snowfall and high winds are also causing snow fog, according to the release.
Electronic message boards located east and west of Dickinson along Interstate 94 were also alerting travelers to dial 511 for details on road conditions Friday, said Larry Gangl, DOT Dickinson district engineer.