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Mom: 8-year-old son killed in Steele Co. crash 'was a bright light'

FARGO - A Page, N.D., boy who died Wednesday, July 12, after a two-vehicle crash in neighboring Steele County would have celebrated a birthday next week.Eight-year-old Braden Dahl was critically injured in the crash 10 miles west of Galesburg, a ...

Braden-Dahl.jpg
Braden Dahl, 8, of Page, N.D., died Wednesday, July 12, as a result of a car crash in Steele County the day before. Submitted photo

FARGO - A Page, N.D., boy who died Wednesday, July 12, after a two-vehicle crash in neighboring Steele County would have celebrated a birthday next week.

Eight-year-old Braden Dahl was critically injured in the crash 10 miles west of Galesburg, a day before his death at a Fargo hospital. His mother, Bekka Dahl, 37, said Braden loved sports, the outdoors and hunting, and wanted to be just like his dad.

"He was a bright light in our lives," Dahl said, choking back tears.

She and her husband Justin have another son, 11-year-old Connor.

Dahl said both boys were headed to baseball activities that morning. She dropped off Connor with another family that would take him to baseball, while Braden and his mother headed to his practice in Hope.

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According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, Dahl was westbound on Steele County Road 1 about 7:15 a.m. and the second driver, in a pickup, was southbound on 137th Avenue Southeast, where a yield sign is posted. Both roads are gravel.

The patrol said the pickup driver, 23-year-old Ryan Ust of Portland, failed to yield and T-boned the passenger side of Dahl's car.

"I could see his headlights right before he hit me," Dahl said, adding that a tall cornfield near the intersection may have affected visibility.

She said the other driver tried to run for help at a house nearby, while she called 911.

Dahl said he showed great remorse and told her he did not see their car until he hit it.

Braden was flown to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, where doctors determined he had a broken pelvis, hip and arm, and a traumatic brain injury.

"Horrible. Something nobody should ever have to see," Dahl said.

Ust was treated for injuries at a hospital. Dahl suffered only bumps and bruises.

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She said the family was able to donate some of Braden's organs.

His funeral is expected to be held Monday, July 17. Arrangements are being handled through Baker and Lindsey-Carlson Funeral Homes in Mayville.

Dahl described Braden as a boy who always wanted a hug, morning or night.

"We are grateful for the years we got with him," Dahl said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by a friend to help the Dahl family with medical and funeral expenses.

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