Tricounty News

Icy roads claim a life north of Kimball

On much of Highway 15 between Kimball and St. Cloud, there remained nearly an inch of ice Wednesday after a bitter storm Tuesday. Strong winds blew the 6-8 inches of snow across roadways which made them even more treacherous. Just before 4 p.m. Wednesday, a northbound semi driven by Obe Barrientos, 33, of Lake Forest, Calif., jackknifed on Highway 15 just north of Highway 55. There were three vehicles heading south at that point on Highway 15. The semi narrowly missed the first vehicle, an SUV; "by a hair" according to the SUV driver. The SUV went into the ditch, and the driver was able to drive out of the ditch later. The semi collided head-on with the second southbound vehicle, a van being driven by Glenn Imholte of Rockville. According to authorities, Imholte was killed immediately by the impact. Imholte, 47, was married with three children. He was very active in his community. His funeral was held Monday, March 16, at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud. It is said that he was on his way to the state hockey tournament in St. Paul. A third vehicle, also heading south, was not struck, but ended up in the ditch. Imholte was the only driver to suffer any injuries. There were no passengers in any of the vehicles, and the three other drivers were not physically injured. Highway 15 was closed for nearly four hours Wednesday afternoon and evening, as emergency personnel processed the scene and cleared the roadway. The air temperature at the time of the accident was-2°, and there were strong winds. Members of the all-volunteer Kimball Rescue and Fire Department stood outside in the cold wind, directing traffic around the accident scene and assisting other emergency personnel. Police chief Jim Frilstad, Watkins Ambulance, and several State Patrol officers were also called to the scene Wednesday afternoon.