Update: Wedding bus hit in fatal crash

Published 10:56 am Monday, May 23, 2011

Members of the Minnesota State Patrol survey the scene of a fatal accident that occurred early Sunday morning about a half-mile south of Mower County Road 2. -- Jason Schoonover/jason.schoonover@austindailyherald.com

One person is dead after a car collided with a wedding party bus around 12:40 a.m. Sunday morning on Highway 218 just south of Highway 251.

Penny Engelman, 31, died after her car hit a school bus traveling in the southbound lane, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. The bus was taking the wedding party from a reception in Blooming Prairie to a hotel in Austin, according to a source.

Pastor Heidi Heimgartner of First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie asked the congregation to pray for those involved in the crash. The bride is a Blooming Prairie native; it is unknown whether she was injured in the crash.

Email newsletter signup

Engelman, who drove a 2000 Chevy Cavalier, was heading north when she collided with the bus in the southbound lane, according to the state patrol report.

Of the 20 passengers on the bus, nine were treated and released at Austin Medical Center. Bus passenger Cynthia S. Salwey, 49, was transferred to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester for non-life threatening injuries.

Owatonna resident Timothy A. Bachtle, 52, was driving the bus. No alcohol was detected in his system, and he was not injured, according to the state patrol.

It’s unclear if weather played a part in the crash, but road conditions were reported as wet.

Officers with the Minnesota State Patrol investigated the scene about a half-mile south of County Road 2 around 10:30 a.m. Sunday.