OWATONNA — A multi-vehicle pileup involving more than two dozen cars and trucks on northbound Interstate 35 near Owatonna snarled traffic and led to the closing of the freeway for several hours Thursday.

The pileup occurred about 9:30 Thursday morning after the Minnesota State Patrol responded to a vehicle in the median at the 41 mile marker on northbound I-35 about a mile north of the entrance ramp onto the interstate from westbound Highway 14, according to a statement released by the state patrol.

“While the Trooper was assisting the vehicle, a second vehicle went into the center median behind him,” the statement says.

Road conditions were reported to be snow- and ice-covered at the time of the pileup.

The incidents led to several separate accidents, with the patrol reporting that in all 20 passenger cars and six jackknifed semis were involved in the various crashes. No serious injuries were reported.

“All crashes are currently under investigation,” the patrol reports.

The pileup led to the closing of the northbound lanes of the interstate from Highway 14 to the Bridge Street exit with a northbound detour — Highway 14 west to Steele County Road 7 north to Steele County Road 2 east — being put into place, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The state patrol reported that the northbound lanes of I-35 were reopened at 12:35 p.m.

Reach Managing Editor Jeffrey Jackson at 444-2371 or follow him on Twitter @OPPJeffrey.

Jeffrey Jackson is the managing editor of the Owatonna People's Press. He can be reached at 507-444-2371 or via email at jjackson@owatonna.com

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