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State Patrol hopes on-board computer will shed light on truck accident

MENOMONIE - The State Patrol hopes an on-board computer will provide clues as to why a semi-truck crossed a freeway median and plunged into the Red Cedar River near Menomonie on Tuesday.

Dunn County's medical examiner said 25-year-old Batrodin Siyad and 26-year-old Mohammed Malin, both of Minneapolis, were alive when their rig plunged 75-feet into the river, crashed through two-feet of ice, and fell another 20-feet underwater. Authorities believe both drowned a short time after that.

State Patrol Lieutenant Jeff Lorentz said several witnesses have called his office to report what they saw. He believes the snowy weather at the time was a factor - but investigators may never know for sure. Medical Examiner Chris Kruse also said both men would have had to find a hole at the surface to get out alive - and it would have been hard to do, considering how dark it was, and how deep the water had been. The crash happened around 3:45 Tuesday morning. Toxicology test results on both victims are due in a few weeks.