Former lawmaker Vic Kohring dead in car accident

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Former legislator Victor Kohring, age 64, has died in a car accident.

On Tuesday at 5:06 pm, the Alaska State Troopers were notified of a vehicle collision near mile 53 of the Glenn Highway north of Palmer. Troopers and first responders immediately responded to the scene.

Troopers came upon a Toyota minivan that had collided head-on with a semi-truck after crossing the center line for unknown reasons. Kohring was the sole occupant of the minivan and was declared deceased on the scene.

The AST Bureau of Highway Patrol conducted an investigation of the crash scene and assumed case responsibility for the investigation. Kohring’s remains were transported to the State Medical Examiner for autopsy. The Glenn Highway was closed in both directions for approximately two hours as Troopers documented the scene and cleared the roadway.

Kohring served in the Alaska House of Representatives until 2007, when he resigned during a corruption probe, after serving seven terms, beginning in 1994. After the FBI searched his offices in Juneau, Kohring was indicted on federal bribery and extortion charges on May 4, 2007, accused of soliciting and accepting bribes from VECO, an oilfield services company.

On Nov. 1, 2007, a federal jury found Kohring guilty in three out of four criminal charges and acquitted on the fourth, a charge of extortion. He was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, but then the conviction was vacated in 2011, and Kohring agreed to plead guilty in exchange for being sentenced to time served, and conditions for his release, which was June 11, 2009.

Kohring came to Alaska as a child from Lake Zurich, IL, after traveling the Alaska-Canada Highway with his family. They settled in Chugiak, and moved to Anchorage in 1969. Kohring worked in construction after he graduated from Dimond High. He graduated from Alaska Pacific University in 1987 and 1989 with an undergraduate degree in Management Science and a graduate degree in Business Administration (MBA), respectively. Since 1976, he had been a resident of Wasilla, where he served on the Wasilla Planning and Utilities Commission, on the board of Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, and in other roles.

12 COMMENTS

  1. During his time in the legislature, Vic was the most responsive lawmaker i have ever communicated with. May his family find peace and comfort during this difficult time. God is near to the brokenhearted.

    • “Brother” Reggie, I was no fan of Kohring’s, but such an iniquitous supposition reflects your gross stupidity!

  2. I knew Vic for over 37 years. He was one of the gentlest, most honest men I’ve ever known. He laughed easily, insulted few and took care of his family as best he could. To look at him one would see a rather tall, strong, man mountain, ready to lift cars up with one hand. Inside his soul he was a tender, kind, philosophical man with an easy attitude toward all.

    In all the time I knew him I never saw him use foul language or attempt to bully other people. He respected other people and granted freedom to all who deserved it. He was my friend and when the US Government charged him with crimes, I knew he was set up and served a major con job by the Feds. I never doubted him for one moment in his honesty.

    When Wayne Anthony Ross, the Anchorage Attorney, first examined the charges against Vic, he asked the Feds if they were serious and told them they were not crimes and they had no case. He was right. But the Feds went ahead and manufactured a case from whole cloth with two very crooked government attornies and a pathetic judge who denied reality. I will miss Vic Kophring very much. He was a rare, gentleman of warm character. I was proud to be his friend.

    Fred James
    Bellingham, WA

    • Thank you for taking the time to write this. I grew up with Vic – played basketball from the 6th grade through our ’76 Dimond High experience and never believed for a minute any of the accusations. So your thoughts help. Some of us felt as though he never recovered from that mess. His beliefs will carry him into the next life.

  3. When Vic campaigned in the flats under the lights on them cold October mornings, I would start honking a mile away just to keep him warm

  4. So sorry to hear this. Probably was a stroke or some heart related issue. I was afraid it was going to be one of those car accidents like the one that killed Patton. Or one of those Clinton suicides where a guy shoots himself in the back of the head at night in a park.

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