homepage logo


Crash could cost county $1,500

By Staff | Feb 28, 2011

John Thompson

An accident last October involving a Faribault County Sheriff’s vehicle and a car on Interstate 90 has cost the county several hundred dollars and the total could climb.

John Thompson, county auditor/treasurer, says the county paid the $500 deductible of a $5,303 bill to repair the department’s 2008 Silverado Chevrolet pickup truck.

Thompson says a liability claim still remains open.

“We will get a claim closeout statement when that is settled stating the amount paid by MCIT and any deductible owed by the county,” he adds.

Thompson expects the deductible amount will be $1,000.

According to a Blue Earth Police Department report, deputy Steve Linde was westbound when his vehicle rear-ended a car driven by Greg Francis Armon of Blue Earth around 1:45 a.m. on Oct. 4.

Sheriff Mike Gormley says Linde was on duty at the time of the accident.

Linde reportedly told authorities he was driving with the cruise control set at 70 mph and did not see any rear lights on the Armon vehicle.

The accident report says the deputy had no idea the car was on the highway until moments before impact.

Armon told authorities he believed his car was in good mechanical condition.

Linde reportedly was tested for alcohol, but Armon was not. The results were negative.

District 3 Commissioner Bill Groskruetz, who represents the city of Wells, says the accident has been brought to his attention.

Linde works full time for the sheriff’s department, as well as part time for the Wells Police Department and is part-time police chief for Elmore.

Groskruetz says he has discussed Linde’s workload with Gormley and Wells Police Chief Jim Ratelle.

“Both of them told me Steve has been upfront about the number of hours he works and they don’t have any concerns,” Groskruetz says. “I have no issue with his work schedule.”

The police report says Armon and a female passenger were transported and treated at United Hospital in Blue Earth.

Armon’s vehicle also had to be towed, says the report.