School and state soldier covered up facts in fatal crash, Moorhead family allege in lawsuit
Raymond and Katherine Kvalvog filed a civil lawsuit last week in Minnesota U.S. District Court against Park Christian School, the Minnesota State Patrol and officials linked to the organizations. He alleges school administration and state patrol sergeant. Rodney Eischens conspired against the Kvalvogs in an attempt to deny them due process as the parents sought damages in connection with the deaths of their sons, Zachary and Connor Kvalvog.
On June 23, 2015, 18-year-old Zachary Kvalvog was driving his father’s van to a basketball tournament in Wisconsin when she crashed into Interstate 94 near Dalton, Minnesota. Zachary and his brother, Connor Kvalvog, 14, died as a result of the accident.
The Minnesota State Patrol determined that a semi-truck had piled up in the way of the pickup as Zachary Kvalvog attempted to pass it. He deviated and corrected excessively before the pickup left the road, crossed the median and came to rest in the westbound lanes of the freeway, the state patrol said.
Ray and Kathie Kvalvog talk about the loss of their two sons, Zach, 18, and Connor, 14, at their home in Moorhead, Minnesota. Forum news service.
A Clay County jury ruled in favor of Park Christian School and former basketball coach Josh Lee in 2019, saying the semiconductor was to blame for the crash. Jurors also found that Zachary Kvalvog was not negligent.
The identity of the semiconductor remains unknown.
The jury also determined that Lee, who is named a defendant in the latest complaint filed, was not negligent in his supervision of the basketball trip.
In the latest lawsuit, the Kvalvogs alleged that Lee lied about what happened before and after the crash, and the school covered the incident to avoid liability. They alleged that the Clay County jury received false information.
“Despite a defensible duty on the part of the coaches to assist the players, the defendant Lee provided no assistance to the critically injured sons of the plaintiffs, who died without the presence of the man who was supposed to be their mentor because ‘he was on his phone talking to the school administration,’ the complaint alleged.
Lee coerced the boys into the Wisconsin tournament, despite family protests. Participation in athletic activities outside of the school year was in violation of Minnesota State High School League rules, according to a civil complaint.
“Participation in the tournament was not voluntary for Zachary or Connor Kvalvog,” said the complaint.
Lee reportedly indicated that his “good or bad reference” could influence the decision of North Dakota State University to recruit Zachary Kvalvog. The family therefore allowed the boys to participate in the tournament, according to the complaint.
The complaint also alleged that Lee forced Zachary Kvalvog to drive his father’s pickup as part of a trailer for the Wisconsin tournament. He drove his brother, as well as his teammates Mark Schwandt and Jimmy Morton.
Morton and Schwandt were injured in the crash but survived. Morton filed a lawsuit against Park Christian School, Lee, and other school officials in US District Court.
A state patrol forensic assessment confirmed the trailer was accelerating on the freeway and estimated it was traveling between 80 and 84 mph at the time of the crash, according to the complaint.
Eischens, another defendant named in the lawsuit, played down the role of speed in the crash when giving evidence, according to the complaint. Kvalvog’s parents claimed that Eischens’ friendship with Park Christian School administrators played a role in the alleged cover-up.
The Kvalvogs alleged that the accident report contained false statements and misleading conclusions. Eischens is said to have “engaged in a systematic effort to adapt the accident report to the account which released (Park Christian School) from all responsibility by first accusing Zachary Kvalvog exclusively of the accident and later of a semi driver. -phantom tractor “, indicates the complaint.
Parents also claimed that the school used coercion to force the boys to participate in other events. In one case, Zachary Kvalvog was punished with school cleaning duties when he missed an event due to a scheduling conflict, according to the complaint.
The school singled out the Kvalvogs for “special disregard” because they were an “outside family,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also names Park Christian School president Christopher Nellermoe, former Kent Hannestad school president, former football coach Tim Kerr, State Patrol Captain Brian Cheney and Col. Matthew Langer, who is the head of the state patrol.
The complaint does not mention a specific amount for the damages claimed.
A message left at Nellermoe was not returned on Monday, July 12.
The state patrol declined to comment.
“In practice, the Minnesota State Patrol does not discuss pending litigation,” said spokesman Doug Neville.