The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office responded to a minor motor vehicle crash and hay bale fire late Wednesday night in Irving Township in the area of 175th Street NE and 138th Avenue NE.
An International Semi-Tractor trailer driven by 65 year old Dennis Washburn of Hector was southbound on 175th Street NE. The flatbed trailer was loaded with more than 60 hay bales. An International Prostar Semi-Tractor trailer driven by 46 year old Paul Schmidt of Atwater was northbound on 175th Street NE.
A hay bale fell off the trailer of the southbound semi, striking the driver’s side cab of the northbound semi. A hay bale fire on the flatbed trailer had started during transport and was causing several bales to fall off the trailer. Washburn, noticing the bales were on fire, was able to slow down in the area of 138th Avenue NE. Several bales began to burn on the trailer and on the roadway.
Atwater Fire Department responded to the incident scene and requested assistance from a local farmer with a front end loader to push the remaining bales off of the trailer to prevent further damage. Fire crews were able to contain the fire to the immediate area. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Atwater Fire & Ambulance, and Kandiyohi County Highway Department.