Senior Trapped in Left-Turn Lane

For 67 year-old Kenneth Knudsen, of Mankato Minnesota, it was like any other Sunday morning. He had just gotten out of church, and he was headed out to lunch at the Cracker Barrel. Little did he know, his life was about to come to a screeching halt.

So I get in my Oldsmobile to go down to the Cracker Barrel, and I must have spaced out on the way, because I missed the usual turn. I think it’s gonna be no problem. I’ll just take the next left, but it was a big problem. This one of those turns where a hill is blocking your view to the other side, and there was no arrow. I tried not to panic. I wasn’t about to block the intersection like some immigrant, so I waited.
— Kenneth Knudsen

...and wait he did. Minutes turned to hours. Traffic began to jam. The next day, local news covers the incident, and Broad Street is lined with spectators cheering Kenneth on. Some people park their cars behind him to show solidarity, or just to get into the limelight. Traffic comes to a standstill.

Photo by JMichl/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by JMichl/iStock / Getty Images

After three days, the National Guard is called in to drop rice and water packages to those stubborn enough to stay in their cars. Mankato mayor Eric Anderson calls in a crack team of crossing guards down from Minneapolis. On Thursday, Kenneth finally makes it into the Cracker Barrel parking lot, and the rest of the cars are cleared out by Saturday afternoon. 

This disaster rocked Mankato for nearly a week, but it wasn't entirely in vain. Kenneth is scheduled to have a personal meeting with Mayor Anderson this week, and he hopes to get a green arrow installed at Intersection Zero.

Hard to believe this whole catastrophe could’ve been avoided if my dumb-ass son would just drive me to church. Really makes you think.