2004-07-17_MississippiRiver

Last night at about 10:20, there was a seven-car pileup on the back channel bridge, which started with a motorcyclist slipping on the squished bugs. The cars behind him tried to brake, but with the limited visibility and slipperiness, slid right into one another.
Wisconsin state patrol and the county sherriff responded, and cleared the wrecks within about 40 minutes. In the meantime, we went back to the river and fished a bit longer. Came back at 11:45 to find the wrecks cleared but the bridge still closed. Apparently the flies had accumulated to a depth of about a foot, and the officers weren’t allowing anyone to cross.
As we were sitting in line, a SNOWPLOW passed us, headed towards the bridge. Being the curious people that we were, we parked the car on the side of the road and went to check it out. Sure enough, the snowplow was used to remove the mayflies from the bridge– taking about 20 runs back and forth across it. We were taking pictures the whole time, and the best one is of the snowplow blade filled with bugs, shooting them off to the sides as it tried to clear them off.
Eventually, at 12:30 AM, the bridge reopened, and the hundred or so cars waiting on the Wisconsin side and a few on the MN side were allowed to cross.
Needless to say, last night was by far the most incredible hatch I’ve ever seen. I was thinking how much fun it would be to try to explain to an Oregon insurance agent how the car got wrecked…”you see, sir, there were all these bugs in the road…”

Scott Kinney, Student, Northfield, MN.