HARTFORD, S.D. (KELO) – When tragedy strikes a small-town, the community comes together. That’s what happened today in Hartford, South Dakota as people gathered to raise money for a local family struck by grief.
On July 31st, the Hoefert family from Hartford was involved in a deadly crash in Montana. The crash killed Andrew and Jennifer Hoefert along with their 14-year-old daughter Abby Vitek. Their two youngest children, eight-year-old Blayre and two-year-old Cooper were left hospitalized.
“They were great people. Just don’t understand why, but,” Tom Huls, a Hoefert family member, said.
To help the Hoefert family, the community of Hartford came together for a free-will donation meal, bake sale, silent auction and raffle. All proceeds will go to the Hoefert family.
“Means the world to me to be able to help somebody that I grew up with and, you know, the family’s just been through so much,” Danna Deters, fundraiser organizer, said. “So this just means the world to all of us. We just knew we needed to help this family because we’re from Harford and that’s what we do.”
And seeing everyone come together meant a lot to the family.
“It’s just amazing. Just plum amazing, all the businesses come together,” Huls said.
Eight-year-old Blayre is out of the hospital now and was able to attend the fundraiser. The crash left her with a dislocated hip, a broken clavicle and numerous cuts to her face.
“Blayre is doing good,” Pam Hoefert, a family member, said. “She went to school. She’s in rehab so she’s getting things done so she can get stronger.”
Two-year-old Cooper broke his leg, his clavicle and nearly lost an ear.
“Cooper is still getting services, he’s still got a ways to go,” Pam Hoefert said.
“He’s at Lifescape now,” Huls said.
To donate to the family’s GoFundMe page, click here.
Authorities say a man driving a suburban eastbound on I-90 near Whitehall, Montana, collided with the Hoefert’s vehicle. The 45-year-old man, who hit them, was suspected to have been driving under the influence of drugs. He was pronounced dead at the scene.