Bar owner dies in car crash

Published 9:50 am Monday, April 16, 2012

A 47-year-old Manchester man died Saturday night after a head-on crash on Minnesota Highway 13 north of Albert Lea.


The man, identified as Michael Skov, was the co-owner of the Bend in the Road bar in Manchester.

Known to many of his friends and customers as “Bass,” Skov was described as a man with a caring attitude who could bring joy to many.

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“He really deserves the world to know what an unforgettable and lovely person he was,” said Naomi Gregerson of Rochester, who works at the bar.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Skov was driving a 1993 Buick LeSabre north on Highway 13 about 1 1/2 miles north of Albert Lea when he crossed into the southbound lane and collided head on with a 2008 Cadillac CTS.

The Cadillac’s driver, Alex Kast, 17, of Freeborn, and passengers Chaz Mithun, 16, of New Richland, and Jeremy Hyman 27, of Wells, were all treated and released from Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. They were all listed as wearing their seat belts.

The State Patrol report stated it was unknown if there was alcohol in Skov’s system. It stated no alcohol was detected in the occupants of the Cadillac.

According to the State Patrol, the roads were wet at the time of the crash, which took place just after 10:30 p.m. during a period of rain.

An outpouring of people posted comments on the Bend in the Road Facebook page Sunday afternoon, saying they will miss Skov.

Gregerson, who helps run the Facebook page, said she was overwhelmed with the amount of memories, photos and kind words that are flooding the site.

She said she met Skov seven years ago when she started working at the bar and worked for him when he took ownership.

“I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that I have never met another person like him,” she added. “ He had a laugh that was recognizable from miles away, and a hug that made you feel warm and loved for many days after. He genuinely cared about each and every person who crossed his path, and was the kind of person who flooded your heart with joy.”

She said she will be “forever blessed” to have shared time with him.

“He was family to me, and to so many others, and the Bend in the Road family will never be the same without him,” she said. “It is a huge loss for not only his parents, sister and family, but for the many ‘Benders’ who considered him a friend.”

Casey Gilliam, one of Skov’s many close friends, said there was never a dull moment when Skov was around.

Gilliam said she always looked forward to her Monday’s at work when she could enjoy his company.

She said on Saturday night, she and Skov decided to get a tattoo. Fitting to his nickname, Skov picked out a picture of a bass to have tattooed on his arm. She said he was “so excited” and laughed through the whole thing. It was his first tattoo.

“He was always full of joy,” she said. “His smile was contagious, his hugs were the best, his attitude was always positive and he sure knew how to get someone out of a grumpy mood. He will be greatly missed by many and never forgotten.”

Albert Lean Emily Herfendal agreed.

“Bass was a wonderful man,” Herfendal wrote in a Facebook post about Skov. “Always there with a smiling face, a good ear, shoulder and a wonderful hug! Going to miss seeing his face!”

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home. Visitation will be Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service on Thursday.

Skov was temporarily living in New Richland as he was helping his father.