“Ask The Chief” allows readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs and the department in general.
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Q: I was third in the traffic line, waiting for a light to turn green when I heard a loud crash behind me, I was not involved in the crash and did not see anything, so when the light turned green, I continued on my way. My wife says I should have stayed until officers arrived. Can you clarify if I should have waited?
A: Thank you for asking this question. To answer your question, I would need more information. If you are NOT involved in the crash (one of the damaged vehicles), but you observe the crash or are first on scene of a crash, you must stop and provide assistance if you can.
Park your car well off the roadway away from the crash and warn other drivers of danger with four-way flashers, flares, flashlight, etc. If there is personal injury, serious property damage or danger to other motorists at the crash scene, call 911 for help. Provide location, such as distance from an intersection or milepost number. Account for all occupants of the vehicles and aid the injured if you are qualified. Do not move injured persons unless they are endangered by traffic or fire.
If you did not witness the crash and notice that vehicle operators are moving around or no serious injuries and the scene appears safe, requiring no further assistance, you may proceed on your travels.
However, if there appears to be death or serious bodily injury, and you are first on the scene (whether observed or not) Minnesota Statute 169.09 Collisions require you to stop and render aid. Make sure to stop in a safe location so you will not cause further damage or harm. Ensure 911 was notified, so that help is on the way. Be prepared to provide contact information and description of what you did observe.
1. Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, In Case of Crash Brochure located online at: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/educational-materials/Documents/In-Case-of-Crash-Brochure.pdf
2. Minnesota Statute 169.09, Collisions located online at: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.09