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Patrol: Truck driver was 'extremely close' to pickup that crashed, killing brothers

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Police are trying to locate a semi driver who was said to be "extremely close" to the pickup that crashed on Interstate 94 Tuesday, killing two Moorhead brothers.

Minnesota State Patrol investigators are looking to track down the driver of a white box-type semi-truck with a green or red tractor that was driving on I-94 in Dalton, near Fergus Falls, around 9:10 a.m. Tuesday.

A Dodge Ram pickup carrying Park Christian School students Zachary and Connor Kvalvog, Jimmy Schwandt and Jimmy Morton hit the shoulder on the eastbound road before overturning while trying to over-correct, crashing through the median and landing on the westbound road.

The Kvalvog brothers, aged 18 and 14, were killed in the crash, while the other two were taken to hospital with injuries not believed to be life threatening.

"A surviving passenger in the truck told State Patrol investigators that a semi-truck was extremely close to the pickup at the time of the crash," the state patrol release said. "Crash reconstruction supports the passenger’s statement."

State patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielsen told MPR: "We do have enough to state that the semi possibly came into the lane of the vehicle that rolled."

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported Wednesday that the mother of Jimmy Morton – who is from Jackson, Mississippi, but transferred to Park Christian for his senior year – suggested that the pickup was involved in a collision with the truck while trying to pass.

"They said that the guy that was driving was trying to pass an 18-wheeler and when he tried to get in front of it, they got hit," she told the newspaper. "It threw Jimmy and another boy from the car."

The deaths of the Kvalvog brothers, who were on their way to a basketball camp in the Wisconsin Dells when the crash happened, has devastated the Park Christian and Moorhead community, with hundreds of mourners attending a vigil at the school Tuesday night.

Their funeral will be held on Monday, according to this Tweet by the Park Christian School.

Anyone with information about the truck, its driver, or who witnessed the crash should call the state patrol on 218-846-8244.

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