STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Patrol: Driver putting away phone crashed into car, killed 2 in Dodge County

Authorities say a 24-year-old Minnesota man was putting away his cellphone when he crashed into a car stopped on a highway, killing a woman and her 8-year-old daughter.

Posted: Sep. 18, 2018 1:41 PM
Updated: Sep. 18, 2018 2:48 PM

CLAREMONT, Minn. (AP) — A 24-year-old man was putting away his cellphone when he crashed a Hummer into a car stopped on a highway in southern Minnesota, killing an elementary school teacher and her 8-year-old daughter, the State Patrol said.

Authorities said Rachel Harberts, 43, of Dodge Center was stopped on Highway 14 in Claremont on Sept. 7, waiting to turn left, when her car was struck from behind by the Hummer.

Harberts died Saturday at a Rochester hospital. Her daughter, Emerson, also died in the crash, and her 12-year-old son, Jaxon, suffered life-threatening injuries.

The Dodge Center man who was driving the Hummer was unhurt. According to a search warrant affidavit filed by the State Patrol, he told authorities he was looking down at the console to put away his phone when he rear-ended the other car, the Star Tribune reported.

A State Patrol spokeswoman, Lt. Tiffani Nielsen, said Tuesday the investigation remains open.

Rachel Harberts taught first grade at Blooming Prairie Elementary School and coached volleyball in Blooming Prairie, according to her obituary. She and her children were heading to school the morning of the crash.

A combined funeral for Harberts and her daughter is scheduled Thursday in Rochester. The Blooming Prairie School District announced on its website classes are canceled for that day.

An online fundraising campaign has been started to help the family with medical and funeral expenses.

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 54°
Albert Lea
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 52°
Austin
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 52°
Charles City
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 50°
Rochester
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 44°
More sun and we slowly warm up through the week.
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Your Tuesday KIMT StormTeam 3 Forecast

Image

Rochester Public Schools considering 'mindfulness study'

Image

Mayo Clinic responds to 'inflammatory' tweet from troll

Image

Proposed Convenience Store Rejected 2nd Reading

Image

Bowman Fine Arts Center Open

Image

Old Glory Relay

Image

County Commissioner Candidate Forum

Image

Dover-Eyota Football's Turnaround Season

Image

TOP OF IOWA CC CHAMPIONSHIPS

Image

SALVATION ARMY OFFERS ASSISTANCE

Community Events