Cell Phone Cited in Investigation of Hwy 14 Crash That Killed Young Girl

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(Claremont, MN) – It appears that distracted driving may have played a role in the Friday crash near Claremont, which claimed the life of a little girl and left two others hospitalized in critical condition.

According to investigative filed obtained by SMT, 24 year-old Tanner Kruckeberg of Dodge Center admitted to authorities that he was looking down at his center console to put away his cell phone when he looked up and his Hummer rear-ended a car that was waiting to make a left turn off of Highway 14.

The collision caused the front tires of the Hummer to override the rear end of the car. Eight-year-old Emerson Melissa Harberts of Dodge Center was in a child booster seat in the back seat of the car. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the car, 43-year-old Rachel Harberts, and her 12-year-old Jaxson, who was in the front passenger seat, were both taken to St. Mary’s Hospital with life threatening injuries.

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