MEDFORD — A tire sitting in the middle of the southbound lanes of I-35 in Steele County was the cause of a multi-vehicle accident on Wednesday morning that sent an Iowa man to the hospital.
Nicholas J. Frohling, 53, of Springbrook, Iowa, was driving his 1977 Harley Davidson motorcycle southbound on Interstate 35 when he struck the tire in the roadway, according to a report from the Minnesota State Patrol.
After striking the tire, Frohling’s motorcycle slid and rear-ended a 2008 Hyundai Elantra, which was parked on the shoulder of the road. There were multiple vehicles parked on the shoulder with people inspecting their vehicles for damage after hitting the same tire that Frohling struck.
Frohling was taken to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester with non-life threatening injuries, according to the state patrol’s report. Susan B. Kephart, 81, of St. Paul was identified as a passenger in the Hyundai Elantra. She suffered no apparent injuries. The Hyundai received minor damage, according to the report.
Traffic was stopped in the southbound lanes of the interstate while emergency crews worked at the scene. The accident occurred at about 11 a.m. and a lane of traffic opened by 11:30 a.m. While stopped, traffic extended well past the bridge for the Medford exit and people could be seen outside of their cars and standing in the roadway.
Assisting the state patrol at the scene were units from the Owatonna Fire Department, the Medford Fire Department, Gold Cross Ambulance and the Steele County Sheriff’s Office.
Wednesday’s crash was the second injury accident to occur on the Steele Country stretch of I-35 in less than 24 hours. On Tuesday, two people from Little Falls were sent to St. Marys Hospital with serious injuries after a rollover crash occurred in northbound traffic around the intersection of I-35 and Highway 14.
Reach reporter Al Strain at 444-2376 or follow him on Twitter.com@OPPalstrain