Bishop charged in fatal crash now is free on bond - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Bishop charged in fatal crash now is free on bond


MADISON (WKOW) -- Bishop Bruce Burnside, who is charged with striking and killing a pedestrian while driving on Sunday in Sun Prairie, has been released on bond, according to a letter on the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin website addressed to its members.

The letter also says Bishop Burnside entered an inpatient treatment facility on Wednesday.

Bishop Burnside, 59, faces multiple charges in the death of Maureen Mengelt, of Sun Prairie, including Hit and Run Involving Death and Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle.

Mengelt, 52, was jogging. The criminal complaint in the case states a witness saw Burnside drive erratically on Highway 151, before Burnside's SUV exited the highway at the Windsor Street ramp and hit Mengelt.

Burnside is an evangelical lutheran bishop at the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin.

The complaint says he had a blood alcohol content of .128 after the crash.

A copy of the letter posted on the Synod's website is below:  

April 11, 2013
Dear Members of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin,

Leaders and members of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin continue to ex-press sorrow and sympathy for the family of Maureen Mengelt, who died April 7, when she was struck by the vehicle of Bishop Bruce Burnside, who was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide while intoxicated.

We pray that God will comfort the Mengelt family – especially Maureen's husband, Kevin, and her children, Megan, Andrew, and Allyson – and surround them with peace and grace. We ask for prayers for all those left to grieve the death of one of God's dear children. Our sadness for the untimely death of Maureen Mengelt is too great to be adequately expressed.

Throughout these days we have been in prayer for members of the synod staff and the synod council, for Bishop Bruce Burnside and his family, and for the pastors, lead-, and congregations of our synod.

Bishop Burnside has been released on bond and he entered an inpatient treatment facility on April 11.

In accordance with the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin's constitution and bylaws, the synod council confirmed the temporary appointment of the Rev. Blake Rohrer as acting bishop to oversee the ministry and work of the synod. This should not be con-fused with the appointment of an interim bishop.

Further information on matters of concern to the synod, including the upcoming Synod Assembly, will be available after this week's synod council meeting.

"Scripture and Prayer Resources," as well as public statements and information up-dates are available on the synod website:

Please continue to pray for all those affected by this unfortunate tragedy. We live in the trust that nothing can separate us from God's love, and we pray that God's love will sustain us all today, and in the days ahead.

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