JORDAN, Minn. (WCCO) — A mother says her son did everything he “could to save 13 lives” when the motor home he was driving crashed on April 1.
Five members of the Kerber family died in the RV crash. They were 10-year-old Jessica, 14-year-old Joy, 12-year-old James, 25-year-old Tom Kerber and his 24-year-old wife, Melissa.
The crash happened on April 1, when the family was driving home from a Motocross event in Texas. Adam Kerber, 17, was driving the motor home with 18 passengers when it hit a guardrail on Interstate 35 in northeastern Kansas.
Police say the vehicle broke through the rail and plunged into a ravine. Adam and his 8-year-old brother, Nick, are in fair condition at Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul.
On Thursday, kids at the elementary school in their hometown of Jordan are remembering the family.
More than 800 people attended a memorial service at the school, including classmates and friends of Jessica Kerber. It’s the closest thing to closure for the family. They comforted one another at Thursday’s service.
People who knew Jessica say she bright, respectful and loving to those she met.
“Jessica was a ray of sunshine in our classroom. She was always willing to help a friend, and often would ask me ‘Do you need anything done? Is there anything I can do for you?'” said her third grade teacher Gwen Schultz.
“It’s been rough on them all,” said Hope Wesala, whose daughter is a classmate of Jessica’s.
Wesala said she hopes Thursday’s service can bring some closure to the children grieving. Many of them were crying as they left the service.
“Some of them it’s hit harder than others. Mine not so much, but other friends have been hit really, really hard,” Wesala said.
At the end of the service, 132 balloons were set free into the air to honor Jessica, whose life tragically ended. Another memorial service is set for 7 p.m. at Jordan High School.