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A family is mourning the loss of a mother and baby after a fatal traffic accident Friday evening. 29 year old Merry Van Der Hart of rural Herman and a 9 month old Esther Van Der Hart died in that crash, a 4 year old boy and a two year old boy are in the hospital in critical condition according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The initial investigation indicates that the vehicle, northbound on County Road 15 near the 17000 block – left the roadway, hit a tree before landing in the creek bed. Blair, Herman and Arlington Fire and Rescue responded. The accident is still under investigation according to the Washington County Sheriff’s office.

A family friend says one of the boys will need surgery.

A fundraiser to help the Van Der Hart family is underway, donations for Gabe Van Der Hart and his sons are being accepted on Go Fund Me, and a fund has been set up at the Herman Community Club, P.O.Box 125, Herman, Nebraska 68029.

The Jiffy Mart will have a collection container set out to help the family.

Peterson’s Bar 75 will also have a donation container and donations will be accepted at the fish fry and go directly to the family.

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