Minnesota records first traffic fatality of 2023

Minnesota recorded their first report of a traffic fatality in 2023 last week when a Maple Lake man was killed when he was struck by a pickup while standing outside of his stranded car.

On January 3, authorities say 36-year-old Scott Hollencamp of Maple Lake was driving on Highway 24 when his car went into the ditch at around 7:00 p.m. Hollencamp had gotten out of his vehicle and was standing on the highway shoulder when a Ford F-150 traveling southbound, hit Hollencamp. Hollencamp died at the scene, the driver of the Ford F-150 was not injured.

Roads were listed as being covered in snow and ice at the time, according to the report.

AAA, The American Automobile Association reminds drivers that icy conditions and stranded vehicles make a bad combination.

“At only three days into the New Year, with plenty of winter weather ahead of us, this crash highlights the need for every motorist to practice good driving behavior,” Meredith Mitts, AAA Public Affairs Specialist said in a release. “In the winter, there are extra precautions drivers can and should take, but one thing remains consistent year round: If you see a disabled vehicle on the side of the road, slow down and move over.”

AAA says drivers should avoid distractions and keep an eye out for emergency vehicles. Drivers should slow down, and move over a lane if able. Watch for people or animals on the roadway.

  • If you are stranded on the side of the road, AAA says:
  • Pull as far over on the shoulder as safely possible to create more distance between your vehicle and passing traffic.
  • Turn your hazard lights on so other drivers are aware you are there.
  • If you are able to safely make it to the next exit or stopping point, do so.
  • Call for assistance via phone, website or the AAA Mobile app.
  • Remain with your vehicle as long as it’s safe to do so.
  • If getting out of your vehicle, watch the oncoming traffic for a good time to exit, and remain alert and close to your vehicle. Avoid turning your back to traffic whenever possible.

With at least two more months of winter driving, Minnesotans should check with 511mn.org for the latest road conditions and to slow down as conditions deteriorate. The Storm Track Weather team has Road Conditions and current conditions available at https://www.wdio.com/traffic-and-road-conditions/