Crash on Iowa highway kills 2-year-old girl, seriously injures her mother

Donations for the Minneapolis family have been pouring in.
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Donations are pouring in for a Minneapolis family grieving the loss of a 2-year-old girl.

Bethany and Isaac Wheeler were in the car with their child Aurora on Monday afternoon, heading east on the I-80 highway near Dexter, the Iowa State Patrol says.

They were slowed down by some traffic – the Des Moines Register reported they'd stopped because of a truck that had gone into a ditch up ahead.

That's when a semi truck rear-ended the Wheeler's car, pushing it into the median and then hitting another vehicle on the road.

The crash killed 2-year-old Aurora Wheeler. She was in a car seat in the back.

Bethany Wheeler, 34, suffered serious injuries and was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. The Iowa State Patrol credited a seat belt with saving her life. 

Her husband Isaac Wheeler, who was driving and is also 34, wasn't seriously hurt.

The driver of the truck that killed Aurora Wheeler is a 28-year-old from Parker, South Dakota. A local trooper told the Des Moines Register it did not appear alcohol was involved. 

A friend of the Wheeler family created a GoFundMe to help the Wheelers with medical and memorial costs. In the couple days it's been up, people have given more than $18,000 to the fund. 

The GoFundMe said Wednesday Bethany Wheeler was moved out of the intensive care unit.

The Lowbrow, a restaurant in Minneapolis, said on Facebook Bethany Wheeler is an employee there.

"Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers and consider a donation to help them through this tragic time," the restaurant wrote.

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