Mom unlikely to survive tragic crash that killed husband, daughter, unborn child


A mother seriously injured in a crash that claimed the lives of her husband, 1-year-old daughter and unborn child is unlikely to survive her injuries.

Suzanne Brantly, the mother of 26-year-old Cannon Falls mom Elizabeth Calderara, said her daughter is only being kept alive with the aid of life support, having suffered "significant" brain and spinal cord damage in a crash on Monday.

"We have made the difficult decision to say goodbye," she said on Facebook, adding that they'll be waiting until her father and mother-in-law can get to St. Paul to "say their final goodbyes."

The Star Tribune reports that her husband, 31-year-old Jason Calderara, was driving north on the two-way Highway 56 near Randolph in south Dakota County when he began to pass a vehicle and cut back at the last second.

This caused a minivan coming the other way to drive onto the shoulder to avoid their SUV, which in turn caused a following semitrailer truck to brake and jackknife, crashing into the Calderaras' vehicle.

Jason Calderara and their 1-year-old daughter Melody died in the crash and in the hospital Elizabeth Calderara – known as "Betsy" – lost her unborn son, whom she was going to name Hawk, her mother said on Facebook.

Her stepson, 9-year-old Nicholas, was injured in the crash and is in an improved condition at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.

The Forum News Service reports at the time of the crash they were traveling to visit Nicholas' mother in Willmar.

Elizabeth Calderara worked as a shift leader at a Walgreens in Burnsville, the newspaper adds. She met her husband – who was a stay-at-home father – at a Bible college in Texas.

"The word that comes to mind is 'tragic,'" Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie told the newspaper said Tuesday. "Here is a family that’s no longer a family."

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