SD Highway Patrol Talks Travel Dangers During Memorial Day Weekend

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Memorial Day Weekend is just hours away, which means many of us will soon head out to go camping or boating.

South Dakota Highway Patrol says this weekend is one of the busiest of the year when it comes to traveling, and with crowded interstates there are dangers to look out for.

Including one that happened yesterday in Sioux Falls.

“It was a Ford F250 truck pulling a camper and a boat,” says Cpt. Jason Husby with South Dakota Highway Patrol

Captain Husby says the driver was hauling a boat northbound on I-29 when it came detached from the hitch.

“The boat then went across a few lanes of traffic into the ditch and ended up packing a fence at the golf course,” he explains.

Husby says the cause was likely a mechanical failure.

The boat was to be towed away, and a local towing company says this time of year, they see incidents like this happen a lot.

“[It happens] more than we think it does,” says Owner of Eastgate Towing Francis Ramm.

But Raam says there are ways to avoid it.

“Make sure that you have your pin in – what locks your tongue onto the ball itself,” says Ramm. “You have to make sure the safety chains hook up, plus you run your break away switch in case your trailer does come off, the axles on the trailer will lock up on you and on the road.”

Cpt. Husby says drivers are required to use safety chains for anything that uses a ball hitch.

A fine for not using safety chains is $120.

“We’ve had fatal crashes from boats coming detached,” says Husby.

While this danger picks up with the warmer weather, so does vehicle traffic along the interstate in general.

“So we do see an increase in crashes,” says Husby. “Whether that be non-injury, injury or fatal crashes. This is the time of year for those to start to pick up a little bit.”

Starting Friday, South Dakota Highway Patrol and Minnesota Highway Patrol will be putting extra troopers along I-90 to monitor the holiday traffic.

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