Workman’s leg is severed in freak accident on Rice Street in St. Paul

A workman was injured Wednesday morning when a cable that had been stretched across a North End street became caught on a passing vehicle, tightened around the man’s leg, propelled him into a moving pickup truck and severed his leg at the knee.

Shortly before noon, St. Paul police officers and paramedics received a report of a possible pedestrian hit by a vehicle at Rice Street and Geranium Avenue. When they arrived, they learned that workers at a construction site had laid a cable across Rice Street and vehicles were driving over it, according to police Sgt. Michael Ernster.

At one point, the cable became caught on a passing vehicle, possibly a Metro Transit bus or a truck that was driving southbound on Rice. As the cable stretched, a workman on the side of the road standing near the loose cable became entangled in it.

The force of the yanked cable around the man’s leg pulled him into the street, where he struck the side of a northbound St. Paul Regional Water Services pickup truck.

The tension in the cable around the man’s limb caused his leg to be severed near the knee. He was taken to Regions Hospital and his injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

All drivers were cooperating with authorities and the incident remains under investigation.

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