Tragedy strikes family of respected city teacher

February 6, 2019

The family of a well-known and revered former Watertown School District music teacher is enduring tragedy following a fatal car accident in Minnesota over the weekend that claimed the life of the educator’s sister-in-law and severely injured his brother.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Allison C. Anderson, 67, of Owatonna, Minnesota was traveling with her husband, driver Todd R. Anderson, 58, of Owatonna, westbound on Minnesota State Highway 14 in Havanna Township near Owatonna Saturday at 4:54 p.m. It was then that their Pontiac automobile was hit head-on by an eastbound 2018 Freightliner semi-truck. The couple had been returning to Owatonna after a visit to Rochester, Minnesota. The operator of the truck, Hashim L. Siddiq, 29, of Blaine, Minnesota and his passenger, Abdisalam H. Hassan, 28, of Oakdale, Minnesota were not hurt in the collision.

Todd Anderson is the brother of retired Watertown School District Band Director Alan Anderson, with the late Allison Anderson being Alan Anderson’s sister-in-law.

Alan spoke with the Daily Times Monday morning about the crash and his brother’s current condition. In a crash report, the Minnesota State Patrol listed Todd Anderson as being in a “life-threatening” state. Anderson said his brother is “banged up” and will be undergoing multiple surgeries, but said to call his sibling’s current condition life threatening is likely no longer accurate.

Alan Anderson, who is originally from Minnesota himself, began teaching music in the Watertown schools in 1977 and retired in 2007. He estimated he taught more than 3,000 students how to play, or become better players, on their instruments over his 30-year-career. He also said he and his family members have been overwhelmed by the caring of the Watertown community in their time of need.

“We have been blessed in recent days,” he said. “There has been such an outpouring of thoughts and prayers and I’m sure all of is helping.”

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