Skip to main content

'A remarkable legacy': Doctor at Children's Minnesota killed in crash near Northfield

He was involved in a four-vehicle crash on Friday evening.

The man killed in a four-vehicle crash near Northfield on Friday was a well-known doctor at Children's Minnesota. 

Dr. Michael Ray Bendel-Stenzel, 55, of Edina, was driving with his wife and son in a Mini Cooper on southbound Interstate 35 near Highway 19 just after 5:30 p.m. on Friday, with the Minnesota State Patrol saying the Mini Cooper and three other vehicles collided. 

Bendel-Stenzel was killed, while his wife and son were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis with non-life-threatening injuries, the State Patrol said. Two women in one of the other vehicles were taken to Fairbault Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and the occupants of the two other vehicles were not injured. 

No other details about how the crash happened have been released. 

According to his obituary, Bendel-Stenzel is survived by his wife and two children, "countless friends and colleagues."

"A brilliant physician and philanthropist, but most importantly a loving father, son, brother, and friend, our world was better with Michael in it," the obituary said, adding that he is "dearly missed."

Bendel-Stenzel had worked as a hospitalist at Children's Minnesota since 2008, but had been part of its professional staff since 2000, Children's Minnesota told BMTN. A now-deleted Children's Minnesota webpage said Bendel-Stenzel attended he University of Minnesota for medical school, where he also completed a pediatric residency and pediatric nephrology fellowship. 

He was an assistant professor of pediatric nephrology at the U of M from 2000-2008, at which time he joined the newly formed Pediatric Hospitalist Program at Children's Minnesota, the webpage said.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

"It was with profound sadness that Children’s Minnesota learned about the tragic loss of a dear friend and brilliant colleague, Dr. Michael Bendel-Stenzel," Dr. Kelly Lemieux, chief of staff at Children's Minnesota, told BMTN in a statement. "Dr. Michael Bendel-Stenzel was a respected member of the pediatric community, widely known not only for his exceptional clinical skills but also his unassuming constant kindness and compassion, for both patients and colleagues. 

"This is a loss for so many, first and foremost for his beloved family and countless colleagues, friends and patients at Children’s Minnesota," Lemieux added. "He leaves behind a remarkable legacy that we will continue to honor by coming together to serve the children in our communities."

Funeral arrangements will be announced in a full notice expected later, his obituary notes.

Next Up


Three new Grandstand shows added for Minnesota State Fair 2022

The Beach Boys and Portugal. The Man are among several acts booked.

St. Louis County

St. Louis County set to declare state of emergency ahead of peak flood levels

Volunteers are urgently needed for sandbagging efforts in a small community near Voyageurs National Park.

Screen Shot 2022-05-16 at 5.03.30 PM

Brothers Bar & Grill closes in downtown Minneapolis

The Midwest chain closed its St. Cloud location in 2018.

Ken Jeong

Licensed physician Ken Jeong to do standup in MN this September

The licensed physician will take the stage at Treasure Island Resort and Casino on Sept. 30.

Osseo Police Department

Osseo PD says officer did not pursue suspect who caused fatal crash

The crash happened in Brooklyn Park early Sunday morning.

221 Main Street. E. Albert Lea

Suspect arrested after 3 family members stabbed in Albert Lea

The three victims are related, according to police.


Evidence that omicron strains BA.4 and BA.5 are in Minnesota

The European CDC has warned of a possible significant summer surge fueled by the omicron subvariants.

driving unsplash - crop

Hastings man charged for driving drunk with 2-year-old in vehicle

Matthew Quade's BAC was almost five times over the legal limit when police pulled him over last week.

police lights

Arrest made after person shot at Hopkins apartment building

Police say this was an isolated incident and that the victim and suspect knew each other.


BA.2.12.1 omicron subvariant quickly becoming dominant in MN

Experts say the subvariant is more transmissible but there is not evidence to suggest it causes more severe disease.



Teens killed in crashes in Hutchinson, Corcoran identified

The teens were killed in crashes that happened on July 29 and Aug. 2.

archer house - visit northfield

Fire devastates historic Archer Inn in Northfield

No injuries were reported in the blaze at the 143-year-old river inn.

joseph latimer 2

Tributes pour in for 17-year-old killed in ambulance crash

Joseph Latimer had a seizure and was being taken to the hospital when the ambulance crashed with a dump truck.

denny dempsey

Burnsville priest identified as bicyclist killed in Rosemount

The church says he was doing what he loved: riding his bike.

Fatal crash under investigation in west-central Minnesota

Two vehicles and four people were involved in the crash.