HASTY, Minn. — Holly Hoglund Klein, owner of long-running school bus dealership Hoglund Bus Co., died in a multi-vehicle crash on Tuesday morning.
Hoglund Klein’s loss was mourned by colleagues in the pupil transportation community, including the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (MSBOA).
“Holly was a beautiful person,” MSBOA Executive Administrator Shelly Jonas told SBF. “She was passionate about the school bus industry and was constantly working on improving herself, her business and the industry as a whole. It seems impossibly unfair that someone with such a keen eye to the future could have their life cut short in this manner.”
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the crash began with a semi tractor-trailer that was driving on a highway with icy conditions near Hasty. As the semi approached slowing and stopped traffic, it struck several vehicles, which in turn struck additional vehicles.
Among the seven vehicles in the pileup was a Buick Enclave driven by Hoglund Klein, 44. Police said that she died at the hospital as a result of the crash.
Six other people were involved in the pileup. Two of them sustained non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.
Hoglund Klein, the daughter of Wayne and Lisa Hoglund, took ownership of Hoglund Bus Co. in 2011. The third-generation family company, headquartered in Monticello, Minnesota, sells IC Bus, Collins and Starcraft school buses, as well as commercial buses and trucks.
Stuart and Arleen Hoglund founded the business in 1947 as a school bus service contractor. Hoglund Bus Co. became an International truck dealer in 1956 and a school bus dealer in 1959. The company now operates five locations.
In 2009, Hoglund Bus Co. added a new service facility to its main dealership in Monticello and a three-bay service location in Roseville, Minnesota, to further assist its school bus customers.
After those facilities opened, Hoglund Klein, who was vice president and general manager at the time, told SBF that “customer service is the focus of all that we do. We feel that with these new facilities we’ll be better able to serve our customers and ensure they’re happy with the products we have sold to them.”
In addition to her work with the family business, Hoglund Klein founded a Women in Transportation group and held monthly meetings for women in the industry.
“She was a tremendous example of someone who wanted to lift up others,” Jonas of MSBOA said. “She could have easily just enjoyed her own success, but she truly wanted to see others succeed.”