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Wendy Reuer and Erik Burgess, Published August 10 2012

Sheriff confirms one juvenile dead in Sabin crash; identity not released

MOORHEAD – A rollover crash involving three Moorhead High School students has turned fatal, according to Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist.

“We do have a fatal,” Bergquist said late Friday evening, confirming that one boy involved in the rollover near Sabin, Minn., on Thursday evening has died.

Bergquist said he couldn’t confirm the name of the victim because the student is a juvenile and the case is still under investigation.

Bergquist said he hasn’t heard anything major regarding the status of the other two involved in the crash.

“I’ve haven’t heard any serious things, so I think they’re fine,” he said.

Moorhead Superintendent Lynn Kovash said students began planning a vigil for the boys, Brendan Daly, Kullen Carney and Austin Wagar, to be held at Moorhead High School but did not contact administration beforehand.

“We understand that students need and want a place to go in times like these, so we decided to open the field house,” Kovash said.

The Moorhead School District did open up the high school field house for an hour Friday night for students to host a candlelight vigil for the three boys, but Kovash said the vigil may have moved to Sabin.

Kovash said any event held is “student-led” and not officially endorsed by the district; pastors and counselors will not be at the event.

Moorhead High School Principal Russ Henegar recorded a message announcing there was no official vigil planned and sent it to the school community via the district’s automated caller system.

Kovash said in an effort to ensure student safety, the district then decided to open the field house for one hour, starting at 10 p.m. Friday.

Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter were aflutter with comments regarding the accident.

Multiple Facebook and Twitter posts from students, including Daly, identified the students involved in the crash. Though she has not received official word, Kovash said it was her understanding that the accident victims were Daly, Wagar and Carney.

Chief Deputy Matt Siiro said his office could not release the names because the accident is still under investigation. He cited a Minnesota statute which protects open investigations of crimes.

“We don’t know if we’re going to charge anybody or not yet,” Siiro said early Friday.

Siiro said he is hoping to release more information soon, because he was aware of the high amount of speculation regarding the boys’ conditions circulating on social media sites.

The crash was reported around 6:40 p.m. Thursday. The three boys were in a white Buick Century on 80th Avenue when it fishtailed, went into the ditch and flipped. The car landed on its roof at 50th Street and started on fire.

Wagar is believed to have been taken by helicopter to Sanford Health in Fargo. Sanford representatives said they could not release any information regarding Wagar’s condition.

Daly and Carney were taken by ambulance to Essentia Health.

Minnesota schools do not return for session until September, so most of the staff is not yet on the grounds, Kovash said today.

Counselors will be available on Monday at Moorhead High School for students to speak with.

“We have people available on Monday,” Kovash said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518