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UPDATE: Hudson school bus driver dies from accident injuries

Cheryl Moilanen

Cheryl Joy Moilanen died Thursday morning at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul from brain injuries sustained in a Feb. 5 accident at the MR Convenience station-store in the town of Hudson.

Family members had decided a week earlier to begin removing the 57-year-old Hudson school bus driver from life support equipment after doctors said she wouldn't recover.

Her memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 27, at Bethel Lutheran Highlands Church, 504 Frontage Road, Hudson.

The visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 26, at O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson, and at the church one hour before the service.

She'll be buried in Nora Cemetery at Rice Lake.

Moilanen had stopped at MR Convenience for a break between her morning routes on Feb. 5 and was returning to her bus when she was hit by a vehicle coming into the gas station.

A witness said he saw Moilanen land hard on the pavement on her back and head.

Ann M. Pierce, 44, of River Falls, was driving the Honda CRV that struck her.

Moilanen was in her first year of driving school bus. But her boss, Safeway Bus Co. owner Tom Stiles, said she was already a favorite of students.

"The kids enjoy her. All the drivers really like her. She's a great gal and we're very sad about what's happened with her," Stiles said after the accident.

Moilanen and her husband, John, a retired Gillette Co. employee, were married for 30 years. They moved to a home in the town of Hudson in 2001.

See the April 30 print edition of the Hudson Star-Observer for more about Moilanen - her life and death.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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