2 killed in semi crash described as best friends

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) -- The two Minnesota men killed when their semi plunged into a western Wisconsin river are remembered as best friends.

Mohammed Malin and Batrodin Siyad, both of Minneapolis, died Tuesday when their semi left a snow-covered interstate, went down an embankment and into the Red Cedar River.

Siyad's brother, Abdul Siyad, says the two victims were "connected so long" that they were like family. Ayan Gutale says the two would often stop by her office at Soma Travel, Immigration and Tax Service to collect their mail. Gutale says the two were so close she rarely saw one without the other. She describes the 26-year-old Malin as a jokester and the 25-year-old Siyad as always happy.

The Star Tribune says services for Siyad were held Wednesday. A funeral for Malin will be held Thursday.

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3/6/13
MENOMONIE, Wisc. (WEAU) The body of a co-driver from semi that crashed into the Red Cedar river near Menomonie has been recovered.

The body of Mohammed Malin, 26, of Minneapolis was recovered at around noon Wednesday.

He's the second victim of the crash that happened early Tuesday morning off I-94. The semi truck lost control, drove into the median of I-94, and crashed into the Red Cedar River near Menomonie.

The driver, 25-year-old Batrodin Siyad was found dead by recovery crews inside the truck's cab.

But finding Malin proved to be more dangerous and difficult.

"There was some debris, floating pallets, chunks of ice, and bags of fertilizer as well and pieces of crash debris," Thomas Kendzierski, the DNR spill coordinator said.

Chemicals from the 40,000 pounds of grass fertilizer along with diesel fuel and the bridge's location delayed the search.

"Difficult traffic management, and the access to the scene was very difficult. Very steep slopes there, between those bridges and the ice and the cold water," Kendzierski said.

He said the fertilizer could take several days to clean up and could increase algae amounts this summer.

"It's a problem that everyone's working on solving. So we don't want to add anything more to that problem. So they're going to try and get out what they can." "Every spill that happens is unique. And poses unique challenges. So you have to be flexible and deal with what comes at you."

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(WEAU)-A search continues this morning for the body of a co-driver of a semi that crashed into the Red Cedar River near Menomonie.

Recovery crews will be working at the site today. Lanes may be be temporarily restricted to assist the recovery. Motorists should use caution when driving through the area of I-94 near Menomonie.

Troopers say the owner of the semi is Dashman’s Transport LLC of Lansing, Michigan. The driver, Batrodin A. Siyad, 25, of Minneapolis, MN was found deceased in the cab of the tractor. Recovery crews will
continue the search for the missing co-driver, Mohammed O. Malin of Minneapolis, MN., 26.

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STORY FROM 3/5/13
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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