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St. Paul man struck by semi and killed on I-94 near Menomonie

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  — A 53-year-old St. Paul man was killed when he stepped in front of a semi truck on I-94 near Menomonie November 23.

According to a news release from the Wisconsin State Patrol, a semi truck operated by United Transportation Services from Lakeville, Minnesota, was eastbound on I-94 near mile marker 43 at around 11:40 p.m. when the semi tractor and trailer struck a man in the roadway.

According to the state patrol news release, responding officers found a deceased man lying in the lane of traffic.

The semi truck was driven by Michael Rubenzer, 49, from Chippewa Falls.

State patrol investigators determined that the deceased man, Valen Bizimana, 53, of St. Paul, had intentionally walked into the path of the eastbound semi.

Bizimana’s vehicle was later found at the eastbound rest area not far from where the incident occurred.

The weather was foggy and rainy the night of November 23.

According to the state patrol news release, a federal safety inspection of Rubenzer’s semi truck was completed by state patrol motor carrier inspectors. No equipment defects were detected, and the brakes were in proper working order.

An inspection of Rubenzer’s record of duty status revealed that he was operating within the hours of service regulations.

Rubenzer was not injured in the accident.

According to news reports, I-94 was shut down for a while, and all lanes were opened again at a little after 5:30 a.m. Monday, November 24.