Monday, April 22nd, 2024 Church Directory
THE PANKRATZES, Aaron and Clara. (Photo from Pankratz Facebook page).
THE PANKRATZ TRUCK suffered annihilation beyond repair but fortunately the young couple from Clearbrook, MN were able to walk away from the scene. (Submitted Photo).

Miracles, blessings and angels

A few weeks ago, a two-vehicle accident in Becker sent one man to jail and two young adults to wonder what could have been.

The accident was vicious, destructive and scary. Yet, miracles occurred, blessings received  and angels appeared.

March 3

Aaron and Clara Pankratz of Clearbrook, MN had just attended a weekend marriage retreat in the cities when their 5-1/2 hour trip home was interrupted in the most violent way.

“I just saw this car coming off a county road and I knew we were gonna get hit,” said Aaron, 23. “We were going probably 70 mph and I tried to avoid it, but I couldn’t.”

The other car, driven by a man later charged for DUI, crossed over Hwy. 10 at the intersection of Hwy. 25. It was 4:35 in the afternoon on that Sunday.

“We smashed and my truck spun around him and the back passenger side hit a light pole in the ditch,” said Aaron. “I think that pole saved us from rolling over.”

Another miracle happened moments later when Becker Fire Chief Doug Kolbinger arrived on the scene in seconds. He just so happened to be a few cars behind the Pankratzs and arrived to provide aid. He also called for backup and an ambulance.

Another Becker fireman (name withheld for personal reasons) heard of the crash nearby and rushed to the scene. Fortunately when he arrived, Aaron and Clara, 23, had already exited their vehicle and looked relatively unscathed.

“EMT eventually showed up and checked us out and cleared us as far as any major injuries,” said Aaron. “Since the accident I’ve had a sore neck, some pulled muscles in my hands and bruises. Clara suffered bruising as well and has swollen legs.”


Aaron’s truck was deemed unusable (totaled) and they faced a dilemma. Whoever they could contact back home wouldn’t be able to reach them in Becker for at least another 3-4 hours. None of the law enforcement agencies had the capability of providing them a ride so the un-named Becker fireman stepped in to help.

The angel fireman (we’ll call him Hal) guided the young adults to his vehicle to give them a place to sit out of the way of the accident so authorities could clear the scene. Hal talked to the towing company (Petersons) and asked if he could retrieve the couple’s belongings in the truck so they could take them with them. The tow company instructed Hal and the couple to come to the impound lot and do such a thing, so they did.

Hal, knowing the couple had no where to go for 3-4 hours while they waited for a ride — suggested the couple come with him to a local restaurant (Charlie’s) to bide the time. They agreed and thanked him.

Hal spent the rest of the day sitting at the restaurant, talking with the couple and keeping them safe and sound. He even bought them their dinner and drinks and after chatting, Hal found out Aaron is a volunteer firefighter in his own community and his wife, Clara is a Personal Care Assistant. Hal suggested they come over to see the Becker Fire Station since Aaron hinted at the fact he loves looking at fire trucks and equipment. So Hal obliged.

Within a few, short hours, the Pankratz’ ride arrived at the station and the young couple bid goodbye to their guardian angel.

“(Hal) is a very nice man and we are so grateful for his kindness and generosity,” said Aaron. “What a great community you have here if all your citizens are like (Hal).”

“He is a our real life angel,” said Clara.