Mother of girl killed in S. Minnesota car crash dies

She fought for her life in the hospital for more than a week.
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In a sad update to an already tragic incident, the mother of an eight-year-old girl who was recently killed in a car crash in southern Minnesota has herself passed away.

Rachel Harberts, 43, of Dodge Center, died Saturday morning in the hospital, according to an update on a CaringBridge profile set up on her behalf. 

Her death comes just over a week after her car was rear-ended by a Hummer near Claremont, Minnesota – about 15 miles east of Owatonna – while she was driving her two kids to school.

Emerson Harberts, Rachel's eight-year-old daughter, died at the scene. Rachel and her 12-year-old son Jaxon were hospitalized, both with injuries that required brain surgery. 

The community rallied around the family following the tragedy, raising tens of thousands of dollars to help them cope with hospital expenses.

Though Jaxon has made encouraging progress, his mother's condition proved too severe to recover from. CaringBridge updates say she was found to have been without oxygen for eight to 15 minutes at the scene of the crash, while doctors informed family that she'd also suffered a "major injury to her skull in a place where survival is not likely."

"I think it’s important to know that from the beginning the odds were against her," the update said. 

On Wednesday, the family made the decision to remove her from life support. 

Rachel passed away Saturday at 5:45 a.m.

She was a first-grade teacher at Blooming Prairie Elementary School

The accident

As a result of the impact, which happened Sept. 7 on Highway 14, the Hummer "rode up onto the top" of the Harberts' smaller Mercury Milan, KTTC notes.  

According to the State Patrol, the driver of the Hummer is a 24-year-old man who was not injured. The patrol says alcohol was not involved.

The crash is apparently still under investigation.

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