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Officials work the scene of a Minnesota-bound motor hom... Officials work the scene of a Minnesota-bound motor home on Sunday, April 1, 2012 in a ravine off Interstate 35 in northeast Kansas (AP).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Authorities are investigating the cause of a motor home crash that killed 5 people from a Minnesota family and sent 13 others to hospitals.

The vehicle held 18 people and was pulling a trailer when it crashed Sunday around 9 a.m. on Interstate 35 in northeast Kansas, theKansas Highway Patrol said. It hit a guardrail and concrete bridge rail before crashing into a creek ravine near the small town of Williamsburg, which is located about 70 miles southwest of Kansas City, Mo. Debris was strewn around the crumpled Freightliner box truck, which had living quarters inside.

The survivors were sent to several surrounding hospitals. One of the hospitals, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, was treating Pauline Kerber, a 46-year-old widowed mother of 12 from Jordan, Minn., who was in critical but stable condition, and her 17-year-old son, Adam Kerber, who was in critical condition.

The hospital released a statement Sunday night on behalf of the family thanking the public for the "outpouring of love and support."

"We appreciate the prayers of so many, and appreciate you respecting our privacy as we mourn our deep loss," said the statement from the hospital, which also treated a critically injured 8-year-old boy before transferring him to a children's hospital. By Sunday night, at least five of the victims had been released from other hospitals in Topeka, Olathe and Ottawa.

The crash is under investigation. Trooper Don Hughes said he couldn't immediately release the names, ages or hometowns of the victims because their relatives were still being notified.

But John Marks, a close family friend of the Kerbers, told The Star Tribune in Minnesota that relatives had told him the dead include four of the Kerber children and one woman.

Kirk Nelson, superintendent of Jordan Public School District in Minnesota, said students had last week off for spring break, and students were scheduled to return Monday. The district planned to have several additional grief counselors and ministers on hand.

"It's a big shock to everybody, that's for sure," he said. "We've got some good staff, and they'll all come together," he said. "We'll get started on healing."



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  • 190 Comments
      LC Jane
      • 3 Years Ago
      Tooooooo many people (18) in one trailer. Did not know they could carry that many individuals. My prayers go out to the families and especially the children.
      • 3 Years Ago
      BELTS SAVE LIFES I PRAY FOR THEM AND THIER FAMILY
      aisha200bc
      • 3 Years Ago
      Such a great tragedy don't have enough words to express the grief, it just makes me wonder how unpredictable the life is, it suddenly ends when you least expect it---RIP
      mgh406
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds like this was not a motor home but a "jerry rigged" freightliner box truck which was not built for the purpose that it was being used.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mgh406
        think again they make rv's this way.. also you can take any semi and set up a rv as long as it passes state inspection, your insurance inspection and deemed safe by both.
          • 3 Years Ago
          I agree. See my other post. I put links to pictures of the set up. My friend has a similar set up and he has to have a commercial drivers license to even drive it.
      Denise
      • 3 Years Ago
      Condolences for the family(ies) of the deceased, but no motorhome is built to be hauling 18 people on the road; parked maybe, but not moving. That's what a bus is for.
        BOB
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Denise
        This was a heavy duty Freightliner TRUCK converted . You see them at the races all the time. Over loaded no, over populated yes. Distractions with all those kids doing what kids do yes.
      hamsterbdc
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very Sorry, but none the less breeders.......mother of 12!!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hamsterbdc
        FYI, I WENT TO RATE this "THUMBS DOWN" And my keyboard stuck and Gave it a "THUMBS UP" .....MISTAKE..Def. THUMBS DOWN....JUST SAYIN'!!!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      People that Have Nothin' nice to write should'nt do SO AT ALL...Ever thought "How" it would feel if somethin' like this were to happen to "YOUR" Family? Would Ya want people on the INTERNET, writin' TERRIBLE stuff...Sounds lIke to me that, A majority OF PEOPLE...DID'NT HAVE A GOOD UP BRINGIN'..CAUSE if they DID...THEY WOULD KNOW WHAT RESPECT IS!!!!!!!!! GOD BLESS~
        • 3 Years Ago
        I WOULD NOT TREAT MY FAMILY MEMBERS LIKE ANIMALS.. THIS IS BLATANTLY UNSAFE. I HOPE SOME RESPONSIBLE PERSON PAY FOR THIS!!!
      LL
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wasn't even aware of the existence of penny auctions until about 6 weeks ago. Now I can't imagine buying anything other than food or clothing anyplace else. My favorite is at ( http://tinyurl.com/TopBargains ) It took me a few days to figure out how to bid but now I am savings big bucks there. How they can sell iPads, Macbooks, HDTVs, Digital Cameras, Gaming Consoles, and more for steep discounts of 75%, 80%, or even 85% off retail price, I don't know. I do know that I bought my son an iPad there for less than $100 and my husband a $250 Loews gift cards for $48. Why would I shop anyplace else?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @LL
        PLEASE REMOVE THIS "AD"!!!!
      doxyland
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have read elsewhere the 17 year old was the one driving this enormous vehicle. A 17year old is not in any way mature enough to drive a huge tandem vehicle at freeway speeds. And 18 people in a trailer? This makes less than no sense. Apparently the 5 who were killed were not wearing seat belts. Also, it wasn't a motor home in the sense of a Winnebago but a freightliner that had been partly converted to a motor home. How was this vehicle licensed, Minnesota?
      MICHAEL
      • 3 Years Ago
      i dont see how you could possibly put 18 people in a motor home.
        buzzardbut
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MICHAEL
        They had two rv's, 1 built on a box van the other was in tow.
        Karen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MICHAEL
        Not legally anyway. Seat belts go for motorhomes also. That was just totally insane doing that.
      yesiam2000
      • 3 Years Ago
      18 people is way overloaded. Our 31' motorhome has 1 driver, 1 passenger belts, and 2 more at the dinette, and 2more on the counch, and 1 in a chair. That's a total of 7. There is another bench seat at the dinette that faces passengers backwards, and that has NO belts because the RV manufacturer did not recommend riding in that dinette bench facing backwards while Rv was underway. 18 people! It must have been sheer horror in there when it crashed.
        netexas121
        • 3 Years Ago
        @yesiam2000
        RV's are stupid and just another luxury that should be taxed, taxed, taxed.
      BOB
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've driven a big rig like that for 35 years and countless miles and a 17 year old should never have been driving. With 18 souls on board and his lack of experiance it was an accident waiting to happen. I'm sure he was a carefull driver but experiance rules. He could have been distracted or fell asleep.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BOB
        Where does it say who was driving, maybe I missed it. Prayers with the family regardless.
        Richard
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BOB
        Or even an unexpected cross wind upon an inexperienced, not anticipatory, driver. Sad indeed.
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