Second Highway 14 crash victim--school teacher Rachel Harberts-- - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Second Highway 14 crash victim--school teacher Rachel Harberts--dies from injuries

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Jaxon, Rachel and Emerson Harberts (Photo from GoFundMe) Jaxon, Rachel and Emerson Harberts (Photo from GoFundMe)
HIghway 14 Crash Scene on September 7 HIghway 14 Crash Scene on September 7
Chalk messages on school's sidewalk in Blooming Prairie Chalk messages on school's sidewalk in Blooming Prairie
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

The Blooming Prairie first grade teacher whose car was hit from behind on Highway 14 on September 7 has died from her injuries.  Rachel Harberts had been clinging to life at Mayo Clinic-Saint Marys for more than a week.

Mrs. Harberts' two children were with her in the car when it was struck from behind by a Hummer driven by a Dodge Center man.  Emerson Harberts, 8, was killed at the scene when the Hummer rode up onto the top of the smaller Mercury Milan sedan.  Jaxon Harberts, 12, has been recovering at Saint Marys.

Kelsy Flowers updated the family's CaringBridge site Saturday morning to pass along what has happened.

"Today around 5:45 am Rachel passed away. She went very peacefully surrounded by her family which she has been for the past few days. Last night Jodi played music for Rachel and Mom and Dad spent all night in Rachel’s room. Like everyone I don’t know what else to say. The love and support for our family has been the biggest part in getting us through this difficult time. Thank you all so much for that. Now is the time to start remembering all the things we loved about  Rachel and Emerson and move forward trying to honor their memory.  We are all so thankful for Jaxon’s survival and continued progress toward a full recovery. Hug somebody a little tighter today for Rachel and Emerson. 
With great appreciation and love to all
-The Harberts and Post Families."

In an earlier post, Flowers said the decision had been made to take Rachel Harberts off of life support systems, because of the nature of her head injury.  Her brother Jeremy had provided more detail via CaringBridge on Tuesday to her many friends and concerned members of the Blooming Prairie, Dodge Center and Lanesboro communities.

"I think it’s important to know that from the beginning the odds were against her," he wrote. "We have found out that she was without oxygen for 8-15 minutes due to needing to be revived at the scene and suffered a major injury to her skull in a place where survival is not likely. The surgeon said that Rachel must be an amazingly strong person because she should not be alive. This is a testament to Rachel and also to the people on the scene that brought her back to life. Without them we wouldn’t have had the time we have had with Rachel and we are extremely thankful to them for that."

The Minnesota State Patrol is conducting an investigation into the crash on Highway 14 and County Road 3 near Claremont.

MSP said Mrs. Harberts, 43, was stopped on the highway about 7:12 a.m. on September 7, waiting to turn left onto County Road 3, when it was hit from behind by a Hummer H3 driven by Tanner Kruckeberg, 24, of Dodge Center.

Sgt. Troy Christianson said Kruckeberg had non-life threatening injuries and was not taken to a hospital.

Family friends created a GoFundMe page to help with medical costs.  

"God has a new friend by his side," scribbled Emerson's friends with chalk on a sidewalk at school on Monday.  "We will miss you forever honey."

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