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

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

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"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.

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