3x Purple Heart recipient injured in crash near North Branch - KMSP-TV

Three-time Purple Heart recipient injured in I-35 crash near North Branch

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Carl Ziebarth with granddaughter, Julie Carl Ziebarth with granddaughter, Julie
NORTH BRANCH, Minn. (KMSP) -

Carl Ziebarth, an award-winning farmer and three-time Purple Heart recipient, was seriously injured Thursday night in a rollover crash on Interstate 35 near North Branch, Minn.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Ziebarth, 96, of Faribault, Minn. was southbound on I-35 when his Infiniti QX4 SUV veered off the road, hit a median crossover and rolled.

Ziebarth was airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center in serious, but stable condition.

Ziebarth's family said he was driving between Faribault and Wrenshall, where he was carrying-out a regular obligation to tend family graves -- something he does twice each year.

According to an AgriNews article, Ziebarth was born and raised on a farm 50 miles outside of Duluth, where he was paid $5 per ton to haul cabbage to a railroad car in the 1920s.

Ziebarth was drafted in 1941, and served nearly five years in the military before returning home. He earned three Purple Hearts for his service and sacrifice with the 34th Infantry Division of the Army National Guard during World War II.

Ziebarth received the Sustainable Farmer Emeritus Award from his peers in 2010 for his contributions to sustainable farming and teaching. His family said he is slowing down at the age of 96, but still drives his tractor, farms, maintains gardens and makes maple syrup and sauerkraut every season.

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