UPDATE: Wis. Crash Where 2 Minn. Men Died Spilled Chemical

UPDATED Friday, March 15, 2013 --- 10:16 a.m.

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) -- Divers are still working to remove chemicals that spilled into a Menomonie river this month in a fatal semitrailer truck crash.

Two Minnesota men drowned after their semi skidded off the highway in a snowstorm. The semi was carrying 12 tons of fertilizer, and the entire cargo ended up in the river.

An Eau Claire Leader-Telegram report says the fertilizer contains an herbicide for killing crabgrass.

About 200 of the nearly 600 fertilizer bags were recovered by Thursday. However, a Department of Natural Resources spokesman says much of the herbicide is trapped under ice, and some will be inaccessible until the ice melts.

No dead fish have been reported.

The semi crashed into the river March 5. It plunged through 2 feet of ice into 25 feet of water.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, March 6, 2013 --- 3:14 p.m.

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities have recovered the body of the second victim of a fatal semi crash into a river in western Wisconsin.

The State Patrol says the body of the passenger, 26-year-old Mohammed Malin, was recovered after the search resumed Wednesday.

Malin was one of two Minnesota men killed Tuesday when their semi slid off Interstate 94, down an embankment and into the Red Cedar River near Menomonie. The body of the driver, 25-year-old Batrodin Siyad, was found in the cab of the tractor. Both men were from Minneapolis.

The patrol says the owner of the semi is Dashman's Transport of Lansing, Mich.

The patrol says both lanes of eastbound I-94 were to reopen soon.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, March 6, 2013 --- 12:47 p.m.

From our news partner, WEAU in Eau Claire:

(WEAU) The Body of a co-driver of a semi that crashed into the Red Cedar river near Menomonie has been recovered.
Our reporter on the scene says he was notified that the body of Mohammed Malin has been pulled from the river.

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UPDATED: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 --- 9:20 a.m.

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities are resuming their search of a river in western Wisconsin for the second victim of a fatal semi crash.

The State Patrol Wednesday identified the two Minnesota men killed when their semi slid off Interstate 94, down an embankment and into the Red Cedar River near Menomonie. The body of the driver, 25-year-old Batrodin Siyad, was found in the cab of the tractor. The body of a passenger, 26-year-old Mohammed Malin, has not yet been recovered. Both men were from Minneapolis.

The patrol says the owner of the semi is Dashman's Transport of Lansing, Mich.

Some lanes along I-94 may be restricted Wednesday as a recovery team works at the crash site.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 5, 2013 --- 8:23 p.m.

From our news partner, WEAU:

MENOMONIE, WI (WEAU) - Two men are believed to have died after an 18 wheeler crashed into a river near Menomonie.

State Patrol says there are two deaths in the crash, but the body of the second victim has not been found. It says crews will continue to look for a second victim Wednesday morning.

It says the body of a man believed to be the driver was found Tuesday.

A 52-year veteran of truck driving, John Wieck of Lake City, Minnesota said he knew the day was a treacherous one.

"The roads were hazardous, I was out early too this morning, and it was dangerous ... awful slippery underneath," Wieck said.

The radio alerted Wieck that one of his fellow drivers was a victim of the storm, crashing through a guard rail into the median near Menomonie stopping only when he hit the Red Cedar River bottom.

"It's a bad tragedy, very bad. I don't know what really happened but it's too bad that we have to lose life on a storm," he said.

Someone passing by called for help, and soon rescue crews arrived, troopers said.

"The first thought you always have is rescue, you're not putting yourself in jeopardy or the dive team, so that 's their decision then," Lt. Jeff Lorentz said.

The driver was found dead, and a search started for his passenger in the icy waters. Investigators said they may never know why it happened.

"Was it the road conditions? Did the vehicle take evasive actions? Did the driver fall asleep? All the things that go through your mind," Lorentz said.

It's a reminder that slippery roads can be deadly roads.

"It makes you more alert, slow down and be very cautious," Wieck said.

"(Drivers should) take their time, if they don't need to travel, they shouldn't travel, but if they do travel, just to be extremely careful and to drive defensively and wear that safety belt," Lorentz said.

The semi, from Michigan, was carrying 25,000 pounds of lawn fertilizer that crews still need to clean up, he said.

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UPDATED: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 --- 12:00 p.m.

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) -- The State Patrol says a body believed to be the driver of a semi has been recovered from a river in western Wisconsin, while emergency crews search for a second person.

The patrol says the semi has been removed from the Red Cedar River near Menomonie and eastbound Interstate 94 has been reopened. The patrol says the semi was traveling west on the snow-covered interstate Tuesday morning when it slipped off the road, went down an embankment and plunged into the river.

Authorities say the search for a passenger is based on information from the trucking company that two people were in the semi. The truck is based in Lansing, Mich.

The crash occurred as a slow-moving winter storm moved through western Wisconsin.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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Posted Tuesday, March 5, 2013 --- 8:15 a.m.

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) -- The State Patrol says a semi slid off a snow-covered interstate in western Wisconsin and into a river.

Patrol Sgt. Dave Fish says a dive-and-rescue team has been called to the Red Cedar River near Menomonie Tuesday morning to search for the semi driver. There's no immediate word on the driver's condition. Troopers say the semi is from Michigan, but did not have a specific location. All eastbound lanes of I-94 at Highway 25 because of the accident.

A slow-moving winter storm is expected to drop up to a foot of snow in parts of western Wisconsin through Tuesday.

The storm caused dozens of schools to cancel classes, including the districts of La Crosse, Black River Falls, Tomah and Prairie du Chien The University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Viterbo University in La Crosse also called off classes Tuesday as travel conditions deteriorated.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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