Brief Sketches of Victims in Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

Brief sketches of victims in the Minneapolis bridge collapse:


Sherry Engebretsen, 60, of Shoreview, was the director of marketing at Thrivent Financial in downtown Minneapolis. She was headed home from the office on Tuesday, cruising in her classic Mercedes 280, when the bridge collapsed.

"That was her dream car," said her husband, Ronald Engebretsen, 57. "She had just bought it."

Her husband said he does not know what compelled her to take a route across the bridge. It was a drive she normally avoided, he said, in part because she disliked the frequent construction delays on Interstate 35W.

He last spoke to her a little more than an hour before the collapse.

"It was one of those long, tough days, and she was looking forward to coming home," he said. "I told her I'd talk to her in a few minutes."

Engebretsen huddled with his family on Thursday, hours after his wife's death was announced. They gathered to pray and to remember a woman he described as blessed with creativity -- and the gumption to back it up.

"She's a person of great conviction," great integrity, great honesty and great faith in her God," he said in a brief telephone interview.

Ronald's daughter Jessica was the last person to talk to her. The 18-year-old also described Sherry Engebretsen as a "wonderful mother."

"Nowadays, you hear a lot of stories about parents and kids not getting along," Jessica Engebretsen said. "But we always got along."


Patrick Holmes, 36, of Mounds View, starred as a pitcher at Winona State University in the early 1990s, leading the team deep into a national tournament and earning all-conference honors his senior year.

Later in life, he became a man who embraced fatherhood with open arms.

"I know it sounds obvious but he was a truly wonderful husband," said his wife, Jennifer Holmes. "He gave a lot to his kids. He adored his kids. His kids adored him."

Patrick and Jennifer were high school sweethearts. They'd been married 12 years. They both enjoyed the transition to parenthood.

Holmes' love of sports seemed to rub off on his children, and he enjoyed it. He took pride in coaching his 6-year-old son's baseball and soccer teams, his wife said. They also have a 4-year-old daughter.

Holmes' former baseball coach remembered him as a consummate team player -- a hard worker and an overachiever.

Holmes was headed home from his job as an exercise therapist at Northwestern Health Science University in Bloomington when the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed. He and his wife had last spoken in the morning, a routine and unremarkable conversation.

"Normal stuff," Jennifer Holmes said, her voice breaking.

She was still in disbelief on Thursday night.

"I don't know. I can't really put it into words," she said. "It's just sadness and more than that I'm sad for my kids."


Artemio Trinidad-Mena, 29, lived in Minneapolis but was a Mexican citizen with a young family scattered across the two countries.

His widow, Abundia Martinez, told Radio Formula in a telephone interview that her husband was a vegetable salesman and that he was heading home at the time of the accident.

Martinez, who lives in Minneapolis with the couple's 2-month-old baby girl, said her husband arrived in the United States 10 years ago. She said she moved to Minneapolis from Mexico a year ago and that both were living in the Unites States illegally.

The couple has three other children, ages 11 to 2, living with relatives in their hometown of Ixcateopan de Cuauhtemoc, in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero, Martinez said.

"We're asking for financial help mainly because my children are in Mexico and I have a little girl here and more importantly because we want to send my husband's body to Mexico," she said, sobbing.

At New York Plaza Produce, where Trinidad-Mena worked, friends and family gathered Thursday night to remember him.

Julio Alvarado recalled a man with an outsize personality and a cheery outlook.

"He was very happy, always looking at everything in just a positive, good way," he said.

Alvarado said Trinidad Mena left work around 5:30 Wednesday night.

He was driving a pickup truck, which apparently caught fire after the bridge collapsed.


Julia Blackhawk, 32, of Savage, had two children -- boys 8 and 9.

As busy as she was as a mother, she was also studying at the Aveda Institute, a salon industry training center where she met her friend Liz Ewing.

"She was a sweet girl and everybody loved her," Ewing said.

Blackhawk was headed home to her children on Wednesday when she crossed the Interstate 35W bridge. Ewing said she talked to her right before she left for home.

"We said bye," she said through tears. "Have a good day."