Semi Truck Plunges Into Floyd River

(Le Mars) —  A semi truck and trailer plunged into the Floyd River on Highway 75 near Merrill early this morning.  The semi truck crashed through the barricades and eventually ended up partially on the riverbank and with the truck in the Floyd River.  The Le Mars and Merrill Fire Departments responded to that accident that occurred at about 2:00 a.m. The truck is owned by the B-T Inc of LeMars.  The trailer was hauling beef trimmings to be used to make sausage.  Officials with the trucking firm said the beef trimmings would need to be disposed at a landfill.  Michael R Wichner, age 55 of Sioux Falls, SD, was operating a 2012 Peterbilt belonging to B-T Inc of LeMars. Wichner was traveling northbound on Hwy 75 just on the north edge of Merrill when he lost control of the semi, struck a bridge rail  entered the east ditch and rolled into a waterway under the bridge. Wichner had to be extricated from the cab by emergency personnel.  Wichner was transported to Mercy Medical by Merrill ambulance with non-life threatening injuries. Officials associated with the trucking firm said he has since been released.  The right lane of travel on Highway 75 just outside of Merrill is closed as officials attempt to remove the semi truck and trailer from the river. The accident remains under investigation.