Sara Steiner and daughter Zooey (copy)

Sara Steiner, 35, died in September after a deer crashed through her car’s windshield. Now her former employer and competitor companies are raising money to send Steiner’s 6-year-old daughter, Zooey, to college.

Rival companies are collaborating to help the 6-year-old daughter of an employee of one of their firms, a woman who died in September after a car crash.

Sara Steiner, 35, died from injuries she suffered when a deer crashed through her windshield as she drove to work at RTG Medical in Fremont.

Steiner’s employer and its competitors are raising money to send Steiner’s daughter to college.

The Fremont-based medical staffing company established an education fund for 6-year-old Zooey Kimmell. More than $20,000 has been donated by RTG Medical and competitors C&A Industries, Fusion Medical Staffing, Medefis, Prime Time Healthcare and Triage Staffing.

“Even in the competitive climate that exists in our industry, we are one big family,” said John Maaske, founder and CEO of Triage. “Many of our staff knew Sara, and the tragedy was deeply saddening and affected us. Competitor or not, we care about the well-being of others, and our hearts go out to all of Sara’s family and friends.”

Steiner and her husband, Joe, were headed to work Sept. 7 on Highway 36 between Omaha and Fremont when an SUV struck a deer, sending the deer airborne and into the windshield of their car. Sara Steiner, who was critically injured, was taken to Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy. She was kept on life support there, allowing for the donation of her organs, which may have helped as many as eight other people.

Steiner was pregnant with a baby boy, who also died in the crash.

“All of us at RTG Medical were devastated by Sara’s sudden passing and the circumstances surrounding it,” said Jeremy Guenthner, chief operating officer of RTG Medical. “Sara was such a positive influence on us personally and professionally. And she continued her legacy even after passing, through organ donation.

“The fund can’t replace what Zooey has lost, but we hope it will help Zooey and her remaining family be a little at ease.”

Joe Steiner, who is Zooey’s stepfather, said the girl is a bit young to understand what this donation means for her future. Someday, however, she will learn how her mother’s impact on others made them want to help Zooey build a future.

“Zooey is a very smart child,” he said. “I know one day down the road, Zooey will put the pieces together and realize how important Sara was to so many people.”

For more information or to donate to Zooey’s Nebraska Educational Savings Trust fund, call RTG Medical at 1-866-784-2329, extension 257.

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