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Wrongful-death lawsuit filed in fatal U.S. 14 crash

A wrongful-death lawsuit filed in Olmsted County District Court alleges negligence in connection with a June 24, 2011, crash that killed two men near Byron.

The complaint was filed by Emery Van Hook of Kasson, the father of a 22-year-old man, also named Emery, who died in the crash on U.S 14.

The suit names as defendants the woman charged in the crash, 23-year-old Sondra Dewerd, as well as Bradley Dewerd, the person identified as the owner of the vehicle she was driving. The complaint alleges that Bradley Dewerd is "vicariously liable for her conduct in driving the car and the accident and resulting damages."

Sondra Dewerd, formerly of Rochester, has pleaded not guilty in connection with six counts of criminal vehicular homicide or operation in connection with the fatal crash. A May 4 plea hearing has been scheduled.

Tyler Hoff, 18, of Mazeppa, also died in the crash, and 18-year-old Alexander Korbi of Mesa, Ariz., was seriously injured.


Dewerd allegedly had a blood-alcohol content of 0.16 percent, twice the legal limit, when her car went the wrong way on U.S. 14 and collided with the westbound car in which Van Hook, Hoff and Korbi were riding.

The civil suit, which was filed March 9, alleges that Sondra Dewerd drove "negligently, carelessly, and unlawfully." The suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000. No hearings have been scheduled.

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