The city of St. Michael is mourning the death of former mayor Harry Welter, who was struck and killed by a Wright County Sheriff’s Department’s patrol car Thursday, Dec. 23.

The 84-year-old Welter was struck in his driveway by the squad car around 7 p.m., according to the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.

The State Patrol is investigating the incident at the request of the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Dustin Hatzenbeller with the Wright County Sheriff’s Office was responding to an unknown medical call in the 400 block of Main Street North, in the City of Saint

Michael, when the incident occurred.

According to a statement from the Wright County Sheriff’s Office, Hatzenbeller arrived on the scene and did not see Welter, who was on the ground on an unlit driveway. Hatzenbeller pulled into the driveway and made

contact with Welter at slow rate of speed, causing an injury.

Hatzenbeller immediately rendered medical assistance to Welter, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Paramedics arrived within a minute and took over medical care. Hatzenbeller secured the scene and Welter was transported to North Memorial Medical Center in Maple Grove where he died a short time later.

Hatzenbeller, who has worked for the Wright County Sheriff’s Office since 2020, has been placed on administrative leave.

The Wright County Sheriff’s Office stated it offers its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Harry Welter.

Welter served on the St. Michael Fire Department for 23 years, was part of the St. Michael Lions Club for close to 50 years, where he served four terms as president. He also served on the St. Michael City Council for 10 years from 1977 to 1987, then four years as mayor, from 1987 to 1991. 

Welter also volunteered to clean the Great River Regional Library at the Colonial Mall for free in the early 2000s, according to a statement from the City of St. Michael. 

“He was a true public servant and will be greatly missed by his St. Michael community,” the city stated on its Facebook page.Staff report

Editor

Jeff Hage is the managing editor of the Monticello Times. He majored in journalism at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

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