Small town loses mayor, teacher in separate crashes on same day


A north central Minnesota town is in shock after losing its mayor and a popular schoolteacher to fatal traffic accidents that occurred on the same highway just hours apart.

Remer is a town of fewer than 400 residents. It's nestled in a corner of the Chippewa National Forest about 50 miles north of Brainerd.

On Wednesday afternoon the town's mayor, Howard Prushek, had stopped on Highway 6 to change a flat tire on his pickup truck, the Walker Pilot-Independent reports,  when a van rear-ended the truck.

Prushek, 76, died at the scene, according to the State Patrol.


Earlier that same day, schoolteacher Timothy Budrow, 60, was a passenger in a Toyota that spun out of control on the icy highway and was broadsided by an oncoming vehicle, the Patrol says.

The Toyota was driven by another teacher, Laura Figgins, who was hospitalized in good condition Thursday, the Duluth News Tribune reports. Prushek had also been a teacher before his retirement.

City clerk Elizabeth Blundell tells the paper Remer is a town where everyone knows each other and many residents were taught by Prushek, Budrow, and Figgins.

Blundell told KBJR 6 it's a very hard time for the city. She told WDIO people are in shock. Blundell also told the station that while funeral arrangements have not been made, they may be held at the town's school.

The deaths in Remer contributed to a 2015 statewide traffic fatality toll that has already surpassed Minnesota's total in all of last year.

Next Up

Antoine Winfield Jr.

Watch: Gopher alums Antoine Winfield Jr., Tyler Johnson make key plays in Bucs' playoff win

The Minnesota greats had a pair of highlights as Tampa Bay advanced to the NFC Championship.


Crews respond to fire at Gertens in Inver Grove Heights

It's reported that a greenhouse on the grounds was on fire.

Marcus Carr

Why the Gophers could be in line for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament

The Gophers are done with a brutal stretch and are poised to make a run.

police tape

Authorities ID man fatally struck by 'errant bullet' in Willmar

The man was working in his garage when he was fatally shot.


1 dead, 1 critically injured in head-on crash on Highway 169

The State Patrol says driving impaired may have been a factor in the crash.

Richard Pitino

Gophers game against Nebraska postponed due to COVID outbreak

The Cornhuskers have had 12 members of its team test positive for COVID-19.

Bob Kroll

What Minneapolis Police Lt. Bob Kroll said in Sunday radio interview

Kroll said that once he's retired he'll go "radio silent."

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for Sunday, January 17

The health department provides updates daily at 11 a.m.

Sen. Julia Coleman

'No one's business': State senator calls out attack on her pregnancy

Sen. Julia Coleman represents Minnesota's District 47.

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.