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Slippery mud contributes to rollover

A Dodge Ram pickup rolled over on 250th Street near Smith Trucking Friday morning after the driver lost control in the gravel's muddy surface.

WORTHINGTON -- Two men narrowly averted tragedy Friday morning when their pickup rolled over on 250th Street just off Minnesota 60.

Worthington Rescue and the Worthington Ambulance were called to the scene at 9:22 a.m. after the Dodge Ram truck driven by Cody Clausen, 21, of Brewster, rolled over into the ditch by Smith Trucking.

When authorities arrived on the scene, Clausen and passenger Aaron Engelkes, 21, of Rushmore, were out of the truck and on their feet. Both were taken to Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington.

Authorities said Clausen reported going from blacktop to gravel and losing control of the vehicle when the blacktop to switched to gravel. In the quarter mile of gravel road the truck travelled before rolling into the ditch, tire tracks swerved from side to side in the thick, slippery mud, showing the out-of-control path the truck had taken.

As rescue personnel and law enforcement examined the scene, they slipped and slid through the mud as well. The two ambulances, the rescue truck and squad cars proceeded with caution as mud grabbed at the tires and had drivers tightening their grip on steering wheels.

The pickup truck had come to rest upside-down in the ditch, and equipment in the pickup's box had been thrown from the back of the vehicle. A large tank sat in the grass to one side of the pickup, a red gas can on the other. Smaller articles from the truck's box and cab were scattered next to the vehicle, which had various chunks of grass and mud clinging where the vehicle had dug into the ground as it rolled. The cab of the pickup was smashed flat and buried in the long grass in the ditch.

Nobles County Chief Deputy Chris Heinrichs said he couldn't believe the two occupants weren't severely injured and had been able to get out on their own.