Mother calls teen at wheel of RV crash a 'hero;' 5 family members killed in Kansas crash

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: April 11, 2012 - 11:24 PM

The mother of a teenager who was driving an RV when it crashed in Kansas, killing five family members, described her son Wednesday as a hero.

Pauline Kerber spoke in a prepared statement from the St. Paul hospital where Adam Kerber, 17, was being treated. He was listed in fair condition at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. His brother Nick, 8, was also in fair condition at Gillette.

The crash happened April 1 on Interstate 35 near Williamsburg, Kan., when a recreational vehicle carrying members of the Kerber family and friends — 18 people in all — hit a guardrail and a concrete bridge rail. Five family members, ages 10 through 25, died in the crash.

The RV was a Freightliner box truck that had been converted to hold living quarters, and was towing a trailer as the family returned home from a motocross event in Texas. Adam Kerber was an aspiring motocross racer.

"To me, Adam is a hero," Pauline Kerber said in the statement. "He did everything he possibly could to save 13 lives."

The statement went on to ask for privacy and said the family wasn't doing interviews.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said Wednesday it continues to investigate the crash. The patrol said it has yet to download some computer data from the vehicle that could yield more information, and also needs to interview witnesses, including some of the injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board is also reviewing the crash.

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