A man killed in a single-vehicle crash in southwest Minnesota on Friday, May 17, has been identified as the father of three daughters and a veteran of the U.S. Army.
According to the Lyon County Sheriff's Office, 40-year-old Joseph Koopman, of Alexandria, was driving a 2011 Chevy Impala west on County Road 24 in Lyon County when he entered the eastbound lane and went into the ditch, with the car eventually rolling.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
It's since been learned via a GoFundMe for his family that Koopman leaves behind a wife, Chelsey, and three daughters, Abigail (12), Mya (3) and Mataya (20 months).
"Along with dealing with the unexpected loss of Joe, Chelsey is left to raise their children on her own," the GoFundMe explains. "This would be hard enough as it is, however, one of their daughters has significant life-long medical issues which require ongoing trips to Children's and Gillette Medical Centers. As a result, this makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for her to provide care and work at the same time."
According to the Alexandria Echo Press, 20-month-old Mataya was born at Children's Hospital with "several medical issues" and has already undergone 11 surgeries.
Koopman's obituary says he served in the Army for 20 years, including deployments to Kuwait (2004-05) and Iraq (2011-12). He will be laid to rest on Wednesday and all attendees have been ask to wear Vikings and Twins attire to honor Koopman's love for Minnesota sports.
"Joe was a passionate and avid Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins fan," the obituary says. "Sports and all Minnesota teams were his favorite pastime but, truly, his girls were his pride and joy. Joe had an enormous heart and was willing to give the shirt off his back for anyone he cared about."
As of Tuesday morning, the GoFundMe had raised nearly $12,000 of a $15,000 goal in two days.