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Published May 08, 2013, 10:23 AM

Patrol says driver of semi that spilled Diet Coke bottles on I-94 was put out of service six hours earlier at Moorhead weigh station

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. – The driver of a semi that rolled and spilled its load of Diet Coke bottles on Interstate 94 near Alexandria this morning had been put out of service at the I-94 weigh station in Moorhead six hours before the crash, the Minnesota State Patrol says.

By: Forum News Service, INFORUM, Forum News Service

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. – The driver of a semi that rolled and spilled its load of Diet Coke bottles on Interstate 94 near Alexandria this morning had been put out of service at the I-94 weigh station in Moorhead six hours before the crash, the Minnesota State Patrol says.

The crash was reported at about 3:53 a.m., forcing the shutdown of eastbound I-94 for about five hours.

Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow said the driver of the semi, Shane Bembenek, 33, of Mosinee, Wis., fell asleep at the wheel and overturned the semi tractor and trailer, then fled with a passenger on foot from the crash site. Authorities found the two men a short while later near a rest area about a mile from the crash, he said.

Bembenek and the passenger, identified as 35-year-old Kenneth Sherman, were taken to the Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria and treated for minor injuries.

Grabow said Bembenek and his rig had been put out of service at the Red River Weigh Station east of Moorhead at about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday because Bembenek had a false log book and was operating a commercial motor vehicle while disqualified.

Bembenek violated the out-of-service order and left the weigh station, Grabow said, adding Bembenek will face charges yet to be determined.

Sherman had a Department of Corrections warrant for his arrest out of Wisconsin for cocaine possession, Grabow said.

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