Forum staff reports, Published May 08 2013
Driver, semi that spilled Diet Coke on I-94 put out of service hours earlierALEXANDRIA, Minn. – The driver of a semi that rolled and spilled its load of Diet Coke bottles on Interstate 94 near here early Wednesday had been put out of service at the I-94 weigh station in Moorhead about six hours before the crash, the Minnesota State Patrol said.
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 away, 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. He was cited for failure to use due care, driving after out-of-service order, driving after being disqualified, log book not current, false log book and no seat belt.
Sherman was arrested on a warrant out of Wisconsin for cocaine possession, Grabow said.