School, coach sued in highway deaths of Moorhead teens

Somewhere out there is a driver of a semi who swerved into the wrong lane on I-94 near Dalton, Minn., and causing 18-year-old Zach Kvalvog to overcorrect. Zach and his 14-year-old brother, Connor, died in the crash.

The truck driver kept on going, and apparently is willing to let a number of other people take the fall. Or was there a semi at all?

The kids, students at Park Christian School in Moorhead, were on their way to play in a basketball tournament in Wisconsin. Their parents have tried to find the driver ever since the June 2015 crash and have been embraced by their community in their grief and loss.

Now the parents are suing the school and the boys’ basketball coach, as well as the couple’s insurance company and the maker of the truck.

Earlier this year, Ray Kvalvog told Valley News Live the basketball coach made “inconsistent” statements to authorities after the crash.

“The head coach never does call 911 ever and he’s the person who said he saw everything unfold. In his original testimony to highway patrol, and that’s what we all believed for two weeks, was that there was no semi involved in this accident at all, none,” Kvalvog said at the time.

“The head basketball coach Josh Lee says that my son had braked prior to the accident. The black box data in the Dodge Truck said he never braked,” Kvalvog said in the February interview.

“It is a case that’s based upon a claim for money, but the reality is they really want to know what happened,” their attorney, Michael Bryant, tells Forum Communications. “They really want their kids back. Unfortunately, that’s not an option.”

This is the stort of thing that can get ugly in a hurry.

The complaint alleges that Park Christian School in Moorhead and varsity boys basketball coach Josh Lee were negligent in letting 18-year-old Zach Kvalvog drive his 14-year-old brother, Connor, and two teammates to a tournament in Wisconsin.

The complaint also says FCA US, aka Chrysler Group, neglected to warn consumers about the faulty steering in the Dodge Ram 2500 that Zach was driving and that the company failed to develop an adequate fix for the problem.

In their legal filings in response, the school and coach, the automaker and the insurance company all allege that Zach Kvalvog may have been at fault in the crash, according to Forum.

Mr. Kvalvog tells WDAY he’ll donate any winnings in his suit to charity.

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