Community Alert

OWATONNA — A Dodge Center man who faces two counts of criminal vehicular homicide for his role in a crash that killed a Blooming Prairie elementary school teacher and her daughter last September has been ticketed in Owatonna for speeding.

Tanner Kruckeberg, 25, was charged last month in Owatonna for speeding. According to court documents, was stopped and ticketed in the 1200 block of East Rose Street for traveling 41 mph in a zone that is marked with a 30 mph limit.

It wasn’t the first time Kruckeberg had been cited for traffic violations. His record of violations dates back to 2010, when he was just 16 years old, according to court documents.

Nor is it the first time that Kruckeberg has been cited for ordinance violations since he was charged in January with causing the deaths of Rachel Harberts, 43, and her 8-year-old daughter, Emerson, when, according to court records, Kruckeberg rear-ended the Harberts’ vehicle.

In May, Kruckeberg was charged in Albert Lea with operating an unlicensed motor craft and fishing without a license.

Kruckeberg’s driving record shows convictions for 23 separate offenses — not counting the most recent ticket in Owatonna — in six separate counties since 2010, the year he turned 16 and was eligible for a driver’s license. The vast majority of the tickets — 11 in all — were written in Dodge County with eight of the 23 citations for speeding, including his first three tickets, all written for speeding, all written in Dodge County and all written with a year of his 16th birthday.

Among the other citations that Kruckeberg was given were four citations for driving with a suspended driver’s license and five citations for liquor consumption by a minor.

He was also charged with “Using a Wireless Communication Device … in Motion/Traffic” for an incident that occurred in Olmsted County on Feb. 18, 2014. On the traffic citation, the reporting officer wrote that he “observed vehicle move from right to middle lane without signaling. Observed driver accessing data/texting while driving.” And the officer said on the citation that the driver (Kruckeberg) stated he “was looking something up on the phone.”

Kruckeberg was convicted of a petty misdemeanor for that incident.

On Jan. 16, Kruckeberg was charged with the two counts of vehicular homicide for operating his vehicle, a Hummer, in a “grossly negligent manner,” leading to the death of Rachel and Emerson Harberts. Jaxon Harberts, 12, suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash.

The crash occurred shortly after 7 a.m. Sept. 7, 2018, near the intersection of Highway 14 and Dodge County 3, just east of Claremont when Rachel Harberts stopped on westbound Highway 14 to make a left turn. While it was stopped, Harberts’ vehicle was struck from the rear by the Hummer.

Kruckeberg told investigators that he was on his cell phone “speaking to a buddy” and when the call was complete, he looked down to hang up the phone and looked away from the road. When he looked up, the Harberts’ car was “right in front of him” and he crashed into it, according to the criminal complaint.

But Kruckeberg’s cell phone was searched, revealing that at the time of the crash, Kruckeberg was on his phone, using an online banking application.

Kruckeberg is slated to be back in Dodge County District Court regarding the vehicular homicide charges on Sept. 5, two days shy of the first anniversary of the accident that killed the two Harberts.

Reach Managing Editor Jeffrey Jackson at 444-2371 or follow him on Twitter @OPPJeffrey.

Jeffrey Jackson is the managing editor of the Owatonna People's Press. He can be reached at 507-444-2371 or via email at

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