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Snowmobile accident kills Hardy teen

Tanner Ruberg, 17, struck a cable in Humboldt, authorities say

January 22, 2010
By ANGELA BURCH, Messenger staff writer

HUMBOLDT - A Hardy teen died Thursday morning as a result of a snowmobile accident that happened Wednesday night in Humboldt.

Tanner Ruberg, 17, was riding snowmobiles with two friends at about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday when his snowmobile struck a cable that knocked him from the vehicle, according to the Humboldt Police Department.

The Police Department initially said Ruberg was possibly trying to go around a telephone pole along 215th Street in Humboldt when he hit a guy wire cable that knocked him off the snowmobile.

Ruberg was transported to Humboldt County Memorial Hospital by ambulance, then transferred to Trinity Regional Medical Center in Fort Dodge, according to the Police Department.

The Iowa State Patrol is conducting the investigation with help from the Humboldt Police Department and the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department.

Although school was closed Thursday, Humboldt Community School District Superintendent Greg Darling said there were counselors at the school to meet with students. Counselors will be at the school today as well, he said.

Ruberg, a junior at Humboldt High School, was involved with football, baseball, track, basketball and wrote for the school newspaper, The Cat Chronicles, according to Humboldt High School Principal Lori Westhoff.

He was the third leading rusher on the football team and was a co-leader with four rushing touchdowns the past season, according to online statistics.

"He had a great sense of humor and will be missed very much," Westhoff said. "Our kids will be great, they will step up and support each other. We'll gather around and help each other through this."

Cortney Olson said she had nothing but good to remember about Ruberg, who was her second cousin.

"(He) always had a smile on his face and worked hard for everything, especially his athletics," Olson said. "He was outgoing and an awesome kid to be with. He could always make someone laugh, no matter how down they were ... Tanner was one of those kids I wish everyone had gotten to meet because he was that great."

This is the second death in the Ruberg family in less than two years.

Ruberg's uncle, Michael Ruberg, 41, was killed in April of 2008 after a fight in Humboldt County.

Funeral arrangements for Tanner Ruberg are being handled by the Mason-Lindhart Funeral Home in Humboldt.

Contact Angela Burch at (515) 573-2141 or



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