Wright Company Sheriff Strikes, Kills Former Mayor of St.

ST. Michael, Minn. (WCCO) – Saint Michael’s small Minnesota is mourning the loss of a beloved community member.

Harold Welter, 84, was hit by the Wright County Sheriff’s vehicle in his driveway Thursday night while the deputy was responding to a medical emergency. The Minnesota State Patrol said road conditions were snowy and icy at the time of the crash.

“If you grew up in St. Michael like me, you will know Harry Welter,” St. Michael said.

Zahler said Welter was a longtime active board member of the Saint Michael Historical Society and a Lion of Saint Michael for 40 years. He was also a city council member for 14 years and served as mayor for four years.

Welter’s service to the community extends even further. He is a firefighter at the St. Michael for 23 years from 1969 to 1999.

Harold Welter at the 100th Anniversary of the St. Michael. (credit: St. Michael Fire Department)

“Harry was a man very dedicated to his community, very devoted to his family and certainly and a gentleman in every sense of the word,” said Zahler. “I’m sure people will remember Harry as a friendly gentleman who kept in mind the care of St. Michael.”

State Patrol identified the co-pilot as 37-year-old Dustin Hatzenbeller of Otsego.

In a statement, the Wright County Sheriff’s Office said, “The Wright County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Hatzenbeller have fully cooperated with the State Patrol Agency in their investigation. Deputy Hatzenbeller is currently on paid administrative leave”.

The state patrol will lead the investigation at the request of the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.

City of St. Michael released this statement on Sunday afternoon:

Lifetime resident and former Mayor and Councilmember of St. Michael, Harold (Harry) Welter, passed away last weekend. He served in the St. Michael for 23 years, as part of the St. Michael for nearly 50 years, where he served four terms as president. Welter also serves on the St. Michael for 10 years from 1977-1987, then 4 years as Mayor, from 1987-1991. He also volunteered to clean the Great Rivers Regional Library at Colonial Mall for free in the early 2000s. a real public servant and will be the community of St. Michael misses so much.


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