Friday, June 28th, 2013
By Margie Wuebker
Wife, mom second traffic fatality of the year
  A 36-year-old Maria Stein woman was killed Thursday afternoon when she drove through a stop sign and struck a semitrailer at the intersection of state routes 29 and 118.
Michelle R. Bruns, 2243 state Route 716, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 5:39 p.m. crash. The accident is the second traffic fatality of the year on local roadways.
Bruns, the administrator of Vancrest Health Care Center of Van Wert, was driving a 2010 Lexus southbound on state Route 118 when she struck the westbound 2005 Freightliner driven by Thomas L. Sims Jr., 36, of Indianapolis, Ind.
The car struck an area near the front trailer tires and was dragged west of the intersection.
Sims escaped injury.
"We understand she was headed home from work at the time of the accident," Sheriff Jeff Grey said. "This is one of those accidents that we could not have prevented even if there had been a cruiser sitting right there at the intersection."
Deputies were assisted at the scene by Celina Fire Department, the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Motor Carrier Enforcement Division and the Mercer County Emergency Response Volunteers.
Bruns had returned early Thursday from a 12-day mission trip to Honduras with Legacy of Healing.
Listed as a clinic associate, she was one of 52 team members from seven states making the trip to Tamayo in the Dominican Republic. The goal was to provide free surgical correction and medical treatment for indigent patients. Team members also taught community help, shared the gospel and provided clean water to the school or community.
"This was her passion for the past five years," her husband, Randy Bruns, said via email this morning.  
John Bagley, vice president of Vancrest Management Corp., called Michelle Bruns a dynamic leader who was always concerned for the welfare of others.
A member of the Vancrest family for 11 years, she also led corporate projects from time to time and played an instrumental role in preparing for the grand opening of Vancrest of Payne in July.
"Michelle was a dynamic leader who showed real concern for those around her," Bagley said this morning. "Another employee might have rested a day before coming back to work after a mission trip. That certainly wasn't Michelle."
Bruns and Randy are the parents of three children.
Hogenkamp Funeral Homes have charge of pending arrangements.

Correction:
This story originally cited Thursday's fatality as the first of the year in Mercer County. The death of Michelle R. Bruns, 36, Maria Stein, marked the second traffic fatality in Mercer County in 2013. The first occurred April 6 when pedestrian Timothy J. Chrisman of Celina was struck and killed on Havemann Road.
Also, the original story listed her address as state Route 119 when it should have been state Route 716.
The headline and story have been corrected.
The error was made in reporting.
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