One person walks away from Austin bus crash uninjured - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

One person walks away from Austin bus crash uninjured


AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC-DT) -- The two people killed in the coach bus crash Wednesday afternoon on I-90 in Austin have been identified, along with the crash survivors.

The Minnesota State Patrol has identified the victims as 56-year-old Pamela S. Holmquist of Kasson and 52-year-old Rhonda R. Hill of Plainview.

20 other people were hurt. The State Patrol identifies them as: Edwin Erickson, 52, of Elgin, the driver of the bus; Beverly J. Cooper, 78, of Rochester; Richard Cooper, 83, of Rochester; Prem Deep, 87, of Rochester; Russell F. Denzer, 57, of Mohave Valley, Arizona; Helen Eubank, 80, of Rochester; Alice M. Greene, 72, of Rochester; Maurice A. Greene, 72, of Rochester; Betty O. Homquist, 82, of Kasson; Earl W. Kesler, 73, of Rochester; Mary L. Kesler, 74, of Rochester; Adele A. Larson, 85, of Rochester; Leon A. Markham, 78, of Mantorville; Virginia R. Markham, 75, of Mantorville; Janice M. Murphy, 72, of Rochester; Betty M. Prigge, 77, of Byron; Joyce B. Sievert, 76, of Kasson; Ardell M. Swenson, 71, of Austin; Helen M. Wilde, 66, of Byron; and James H. Wilde, 66, of Byron.

Of the 20 injured, one passenger is hospitalized in serious condition, 10 are in fair condition and eight were treated and released.

David Prigge, 76, of Byron was not hurt in the crash.

The driver of the bus, Ed Erickson from Elgin, has been a driver for 30 years.  He was critically injured in the crash and airlifted to Saint Marys Hospital. 

Bus company spokesman Randy Lavoie tells the Post-Bulletin that Erickson suffered an aneurysm in his chest and lost consciousness shortly before the crash. According to State Patrol Capt. Matt Langer, Erickson has asked no information about his medical condition or history be released.

Around 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, a Strain Motor Coach Company bus rolled on I-90 near mile marker 174.  Several medical helicopters responded to the scene including three from Mayo Clinic.

Patients were taken to Austin Medical Center, six to Albert Lea, and the driver was airlifted to Saint Marys Hospital.

The bus was on its way back from Diamond Jo Casino in Iowa and was headed to the Kasson-Mantorville area.

More than a dozen emergency vehicles were on the scene initially, including the Mower County Sheriff's Department, Austin Fire Department and Minnesota State Patrol.

According to Mn/DOT, I-90 westbound was shut down from for about nine miles until around 10 p.m. Wednesday. Eastbound I-90 reopened at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday afternoon, Kim Pang, General Managaer of Diamand Jo Casino released the following statement:

“Strain Motor coach has traveled from Rochester, Minnesota to the Diamond Jo every week for more than a year. When we hear about tragedies like this it’s heartbreaking, but when it hits so close to home, to our friends, it’s devastating. We will continue to keep the driver, passengers, their friends and family in our thoughts and prayers.”

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