Meaningful recovery ‘not likely’ for mom involved in crash, doctors say

September 17, 2018

DODGE CENTER — The family of a Dodge Center woman seriously injured in a crash that killed her 8-year-old daughter has taken her off life support.

According to the family’s Caring Bridge site, Rachel Harberts, 43, was taken off all medical supports on Thursday. Harberts was still alive on Thursday and was moved to another part of St. Marys Hospital, where she was “comfortable and peaceful,” stated her sister Kelsey Flowers on the site.

Harberts, a first-grade teacher at Blooming Prairie, received life-threatening injuries when the car she was driving to take her children to school was rear-ended by a Hummer on the morning of Sept. 7, near Claremont.

She had to be revived at the scene of crash, after being without oxygen for possibly between 8 to 15 minutes, according the family’s postings.

Flowers wrote that the medical staff “told us (the) best-case scenario for Rachel is life in a facility without really any hope of ever being aware of the world around her. Maybe someday opening her eyes but not comprehending what she is seeing.”

The Harberts’ car was westbound on U.S. Highway 14 and had stopped, waiting to turn left when it was struck by the Hummer.

Her daughter, Emerson, was killed in the crash. Harberts’ 12-year-old son, Jaxon, also received life-threatening injuries.

The family’s Caring Bridge site says that Jaxon’s condition is improving.

An online GoFundMe campaign has been started to help the family with the expenses related to the crash.

The driver of the Hummer has a lengthy record of traffic violations dating back to 2010 when he was just 16 years old, according to court documents.

Tanner Ronald Kruckeberg, 24, of Dodge Center was the driver of a 2008 Hummer that rear-ended the Harbert’s 2010 Mercury Milan, according to the Minnesota Highway Patrol.

Kruckeberg, who has no been charged in connection to the crash, had “no apparent injuries,” the patrol reported.

His driving record shows convictions for 23 separate offenses in six separate counties since 2010, the year that he turned 16. The vast majority of the tickets — 11 in all — were written in Dodge County with eight of the 23 citations for speeding, including his first three tickets, all written for speeding, all written in Dodge County, and all written within a year of his 16th birthday.

Among the other citations that Kruckeberg was given were four citations for driving with a suspended driver’s license and five citations for liquor consumption by a minor.

Highway Patrol said alcohol was not involved in the Sept. 7 crash.

The last traffic violation of which Kruckeberg was convicted before Friday’s crash came in Douglas County in April of this year. He was convicted of driving 89 mph in a 70-mph zone, a petty misdemeanor.

Update hourly