‘Blayre is aware her parents are gone, and she’s handling it’

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The two young children from Hartford, South Dakota who survived a deadly car crash in Montana late last month that took the lives of their parents and one sibling, have returned home.

Eight year old Blayre and two year old Cooper got into Sioux Falls Tuesday night.

They’re not out of the woods yet, they still have a long road of recovery.

It’s hard to imagine what they must be going through and that’s why the community of Hartford is coming together to do all they can to help Blayre and Cooper through this unthinkable time.

Andrew and Jennifer Hoefert were killed in the crash, along with their 14 year old daughter Abby Vitek. The couple’s two younger children, Blayre and Cooper, were also in the SUV and suffered serious injuries.

According to family spokesperson Pam Hoefert, Cooper broke his leg, his clavicle and nearly lost one ear.

“He had lots of glass in his head, so he had to have a lot of stitching on his face,” Hoefert said.

Cooper is now being treated at Sanford Hospital.

Blayre dislocated her hip, broke her clavicle and suffered numerous cuts to her face. She underwent surgery to her hip and is now staying with grandpa and grandma in Hartford.

Authorities say a man driving a suburban eastbound on I-90 near Whitehall, Montana collided head-on 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.

“The family hasn’t really said what the memory is of it, but Blayre is aware her parents are gone, and she’s handling it, grandma and grandpa are there,” Hoefert said.

So are a lot of others from their hometown of Hartford, who are rallying behind the two surviving children by holding a fundraiser later this month.

“The town of Hartford has always been a close knit town, I grew up there, they’re really family oriented and the school system has always been the foundation and that’s where Andrew worked, he was a janitor there,” Hoefert said.

Jennifer was also a school janitor, and now they along with their 14-year-old daughter are gone, leaving an entire community grieving and heartbroken.

“Good family members and it’s just hard to believe that something this tragic could happen in a moment you could have everybody gone,” Hoefert said.

Funeral services for the Hoefert’s will be one week from today at the Catholic Church in Hartford. If you’d like more information on the fundraiser click here or if you would like to donate to the GoFundMe account, click here. Or you can use the QR code below.

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