Crash impact left Bayerl little room for survival

by Jim Boyle

A 19-year-old Princeton woman was driving this car when she lost control and the vehicle spun at least 180 degrees and into an oncoming car driven by a 22-year-old Zimmerman woman.

The last thing Brittarae Bayerl remembers before her 1999 Grand Am spun around and into an oncoming traffic lane this past Monday in Livonia Township was seeing a car out of the corner of her eye.

The 19-year-old Princeton woman was westbound — just west of 112th St. — on an icy stretch of County Road 4 about 4:19 p.m. when she lost control of the car, according the Sherburne County Sheriff’s traffic report.

Her vehicle spun at least 180 degrees and slid into a vehicle driven by  Briana Wendt, a 22-year-old Zimmerman woman who had been traveling eastbound on County Road 4 in a Hyundai passenger car.

Wendt swerved in an effort to avoid a collision but the front of her vehicle struck the rear passenger-side corner of Bayerl’s vehicle.

The impact was so profound, it pushed the backseat of Bayerl’s Grand Am up to the ceiling of the car and left little passenger space except for where Bayerl had been sitting.

“God was protecting me,” said Bayerl, who was uninjured aside from a sprained neck. “That was the only thing that I can think of that really kept me safe.”

The impact of the crash filled the passenger seat and the backseat of the Grand Am, leaving enough room for the driver to survive.

Both Bayerl and Wendt had been wearing their seatbelts, and both were reportedly transported by ambulance to Fairview Northland Medical Center in Princeton. Bayerl was treated and released.

Wendt’s condition was unknown as of Thursday night. She has either been released, transferred to another medical facility or has asked not to have her condition released to media, according to a Fairview hospital spokesperson.

Bayerl, who is engaged to be married in May, continues to work through all the possible scenarios in her mind, most of which would not have been very good.

She said she hopes to meet up with Wendt soon.

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