A freak accident involving a wesbout semi truck and trailer and an eastbound Nissan SUV killed two Minnesota women and sent two others to the hospital Saturday.
The incident happened shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, and shut down Interstate 94 in the eastbound direction for several hours as officials attempted to reconstruct the crazy scene.
According to witnesses and accident reconstruction information put together by the Minnesota State Patrol:
A westbound Freightliner semi and trailer lost two wheels on the rig as it was traveling at interstate speeds near the Minnesota Highway 241 interchange at St. Michael. The wheels rolled and hopped over the cable barriers on Interstate 94 into the eastbound lane, where they struck a 2023 Nissan Rogue. The Rogue left the road and slammed into a bridge barrier on the eastbound side after colliding with the tire.
Killed was the driver of the Rogue, 44-year-old Viengkhone Nguyen, of Brooklyn Park. One of her passengers, Lea Khamphachanh, was also pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
Injured were two other passengers in the Rogue – Pane Eisenschenk, 45, of St. Cloud and Tiana Kanlya Deppa, 28, of Rice, Minn. They were transported to North Memorial Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Allina and North Memorial ambulance services assisted with the patients.
The driver of the Freightliner, 37-year-old Khadar Abdullahi Hawadle of Savage, was not injured in the accident.
All were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident. Alcohol was not a factor in the crash.
Authorities – including Minnesota State Patrol, St. Michael Fire and Wright County deputies, shut down the freeway on the eastbound side from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday as they reconstructed the accident. Drivers caught in the traffic sat on I-94 eastbound for hours as they were detoured onto Highway 241 in St. Michael.