A Sebeka, MN, man was killed in a semi-truck collision on Monday, Oct. 30, at the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and Minnesota Highway 27 in western Minnesota, according to news reports.

Joseph Cecil Hensel, 61, died upon impact when the 2003 Freightliner tractor-trailer he was driving southbound on Highway 59 collided with the rear of a 2014 Peterbilt tractor-trailer, which was traveling westbound on Highway 27 in Grant County.

Belted driver survives, unbelted driver dies

Hensel was not wearing a seat belt, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. The other driver, Alan Lee Powell, 63, of Mexico, MO, was wearing his restraint and not injured.

Powell’s tanker-trailer was hauling liquid propane fuel and attempting to cross Highway 59 after stopping at the semaphore at Highway 27. He pulled out in front of Hensel’s semi, which was hauling grain.

According to Lt. Tiffany Nielson of the State Patrol, “it appeared that Hensel attempted to avoid the collision,” but was unsuccessful and hit the right end of Powell’s trailer.

Sebeka, MN, man killed in collision

A Sebeka, MN, man was killed Oct. 30 in a collision in western Minnesota. (Photos by Brooke Kern, Stevens County Times)

Roads closed until area secured

Road blockades were set up to detour traffic for a 1-square-mile radius around the crash site because of the hazardous material being transported by Powell’s tanker. The roads were re-opened after officials deemed the area safe for travel.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office and emergency crews from Barrett, Hoffman, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation responded to the scene.

The crash site was about 25 miles north of Morris.

About 400 motorists perish on MN roads yearly

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported that 411 motorists were killed on state roads in 2015, and an almost equivalent amount of motorist deaths occurred in 2016.

Traffic fatalities had dropped significantly each year between 2007 and 2014, falling from 510 to 361. Those numbers then spiked in 2015.

The state’s Office of Traffic Safety reports that there have been 304 traffic deaths to date in 2017, a pace that would produce about 360 deaths for the year.

Contact for a free consultationElliot Olsen

If you have lost a loved one in an accident involving a commercial vehicle and believe negligence was involved, you should contact Elliot Olsen. Elliot has decades of experience with such cases, and he has regained millions of dollars in compensation for surviving family members. For a free consultation, please call him at 612-337-6126, or complete the following: