'Service-minded' woman dies after O'Fallon crash

News-DemocratSeptember 16, 2013 

O'Fallon police have released the names of the victims of a weekend crash that left one person dead and another in critical condition.

Patricia Henggeler, 67, died later of her injuries from when she was struck by a Chrysler 300 at about 10 a.m. Saturday on U.S. Route 50 and South Hilgard Street near the O'Fallon Community Park. Her husband, William Henggeler, 66, was critically injured, according to O'Fallon Police Department Lt. James Cavins.

Cavins said that, as of Monday morning, William Henggeler remains hospitalized in stable condition.

"He is still in a St. Louis hospital and we're continuing to speak with his family," Cavins said.

Police would not reveal the name of the hospital where William Henggeler is receiving care at the request of his relatives.

The Henggelers were walking back to their car after watching a family member participate in a sports event at the park when they were struck, according to police.

Cavins said investigators have not yet decided if they will ask for charges to be filed in the case, which is being investigated by the Metro East Crash Assistance Team. The motorist stopped at the scene and is cooperating with investigators. Cavins said he hopes to get the report of the crash team in the next couple of days and to conclude the investigation by the end of the week.

People remembered Patricia Henggeler as not only a personal friend, but also as a friend to the community.

"Pat was a member of our chamber for a long time and served as a chamber ambassador," O'Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debbie Arell-Martinez said. "She always greeted you with a smile and a positive attitude and she was a very dear person. We're all going to greatly miss her."

Other friends remembered Patricia Henggeler as a "very service minded individual" who volunteered her time at the library preparing tax returns for senior citizens through the American Association of Retired Persons.

"We're talking about two people very dedicated to fighting injustices in the world," Barb Furdek, Director of Religious Education at St. Nicholas Church in O'Fallon said of the Henggelers who have been members and supporters of the parish for years.

"They have taken working for the poor very seriously. She taught in Southwestern Illinois College GED program for years. She really understood the poor and their plight and helped people to make the changes they needed to make to improve their lives. Both of them have dedicated their lives to that and to being very fine parishioners, very involved behind the scenes."

Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at swuerz@bnd.com or call 239-2626.

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