Bar co-owner from A.L. dies in head-on collision

Published 10:53 am Monday, April 16, 2012

ALBERT LEA — A 47-year-old Albert Lea man died Saturday night after a head-on crash north of Albert Lea.


The man, identified as Michael Skov, was co-owner of the Bend in the Road bar in Manchester.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Skov was driving a 1993 Buick LeSabre north on Highway 13 about 1 1/2 miles north of Albert Lea around 10:30 p.m. when he crossed into the southbound lane and collided with a 2008 Cadillac CTS.

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The Cadillac’s driver, Alex Kast, 17, of Freeborn, and passengers Chaz Mithun, 16, of New Richland, and Jeremy Hyman, 27, of Wells, were all treated and released from Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. All three were wearing their seat belts.

The State Patrol did not know if Skov had alcohol in his system, and detected no alcohol in the occupants of the Cadillac, according to the report.

The roads were wet and it was raining, according to the State Patrol.

Known to many as “Bass,” friends described Skov as a man with a caring attitude who could bring joy to many.

“He really deserves the world to know what an unforgettable and lovely person he was,” said Naomi Gregerson of Rochester, who works at the Bend in the Road.

An outpouring of people posted comments on the Bend in the Road Facebook page Sunday afternoon, saying they will miss him.

Gregerson, who helps run the Facebook page, said she was overwhelmed by the memories, photos and kind words flooding the site. She said she met Skov seven years ago when she started working there.

“I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that I have never met another person like him,” she said. “He had a laugh that was recognizable from miles away, and a hug that made you feel warm and loved for many days after. He genuinely cared about each and every person who crossed his path, and was the kind of person who flooded your heart with joy.”

She said she will be “forever blessed” to have shared time with him.

“He was family to me, and to so many others, and the Bend in the Road family will never be the same without him,” she said. “It is a huge loss for not only his parents, sister and family, but for the many ‘Benders’ who considered him a friend.”

Casey Gilliam, one of Skov’s close friends, said there was never a dull moment with Skov. She always looked forward to her Mondays at work when she could enjoy his company, she added.

Gilliam said she and Skov got a tattoo on Saturday night. Fitting to his nickname, Skov picked out a bass tattoo. She said he was “so excited” and laughed through the whole thing. It was his first tattoo.

“He was always full of joy,” she said. “His smile was contagious, his hugs were the best, his attitude was always positive and he sure knew how to get someone out of a grumpy mood. He will be greatly missed by many and never forgotten.”

Albert Lean Emily Herfendal agreed.

“Bass was a wonderful man,” Herfendal wrote in a Facebook post about Skov. “Always there with a smiling face, a good ear, shoulder and a wonderful hug! Going to miss seeing his face!”

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home. Visitation will be Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service on Thursday.