Former Alaska state Rep. Vic Kohring dies in Glenn Highway crash

A man wearing a tie and a blue windbreaker stands waving in front of a large sign that says Vic Kohring, hardworking conservative
Vic Kohring greets potential voters along the Parks Highway as he seeks a Wasilla City Council seat in the Mat-Su election Tuesday evening, October 1, 2013 near the Palmer-Wasilla Highway. (Anchorage Daily News archive)

Former Republican legislator Vic Kohring died in a vehicle crash on the Glenn Highway north of Palmer Tuesday evening.

Alaska State Troopers say the 64-year-old Wasilla resident was driving a van that collided head-on with a semi-truck after crossing the center line.

Kohring served time in prison on a federal corruption case that roiled the Alaska Legislature. In 2006 Kohring, was caught on surveillance video in a Juneau hotel suite, accepting cash and agreeing to push a tax proposal favored by oilfield services company VECO.

On the tapes, Kohring can be heard asking VECO founder Bill Allen for help with a $17,000 credit card bill. The videos show Allen handing Kohring cash to pay for — among other things — his daughter’s Girl Scout uniform.

Kohring served in the state House from 1995 until he resigned in 2007. He was chair of a special oil and gas committee. He favored small government, opposed taxes and slept in his Juneau office to save money.

An appeals court later vacated his conviction and ordered a new trial, citing material withheld by the prosecution. Kohring pleaded guilty as part of a 2011 plea agreement to one charge of conspiracy to commit bribery. He was sentenced to time previously served.

Kohring claimed he was the “target of unscrupulous prosecutors.”

Troopers say an autopsy is expected and the driver of the truck was not injured.

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