Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, July 16, 2001

Muonio family counts its blessings after car crash

By Lynda Jensen

Six members of the Muonio family are counting their blessings following a two-car accident that occurred on the way to prepare for a family wedding, Sarah (Muonio) Schanus said.

All the car accident victims have been released from the hospital and are healing from their injuries, Schanus said.

"We are so blessed," Schanus said. The injuries could have been worse, she said.

The car load of young people was travelling eastbound on Wright County Road 107 June 15. They were heading into town to prepare for the wedding of Carl Muonio, formerly of Howard Lake, and Brandee Nunns, California.

At the intersection of Wright County Roads 7 and 107, the driver, Cynthia May Muonio, 18, Howard Lake, attempted to make a u-turn and was struck by a 1991 gray Ford pickup driven by Andy Sawatzke, Waverly.

Sawatzke was not injured, but all of the occupants in Muonio's car were taken to the Buffalo hospital. Two were taken to the intensive care unit at North Memorial Hospital, Schanus said.

The two taken to ICU were William Schanus, 6, Howard Lake, who suffered internal skull fractures, a lacerated spleen and bruised lung, and Cody LaFave, 8, St. Cloud, who suffered blood on the brain and stitches on his mouth, Schanus said. William was airlifted, she said.

Among others injured included Brandon Muonio, 9, Woodland, Wash., who suffered a broken pelvis; Linda LaFave, 27, St. Cloud who received head scrapes; and Elaine Muonio, 20, Howard Lake who suffered from three broken ribs and was thrown from the car, Schanus said.

Cynthia Muonio, the driver of the vehicle, is Schanus' little sister, Schanus said. Cynthia received head scrapes, although she wasn't hospitalized, she said.

The accident was hard on Cynthia emotionally, she said. "That's why they call them accidents," Schanus said. Cynthia had just graduated from Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School

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