Fond du Lac County supports teens in deadly crash

A growing memorial at the crash scene includes messages and sports memorabilia
Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 6:00 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2023 at 5:30 PM CST
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TOWNSHIP OF TAYCHEEDAH, Wis. (WBAY) - An obituary has been published for one of the teens killed in a crash in Fond du Lac County Saturday.

Nevins “Nevy” Zoch died on Jan. 21 in a crash in the Township of Taycheedah. He was 16 years old.

The obituary is posted on the Zacherl Funeral Home website. It says Nevins was a sophomore at Laconia High School. He dreamed of becoming an engineer.

“Nevins was an extremely bright and intelligent boy from the time he was very young. Even at the age of four, his parents and grandparents thought Nevins may be smarter than them. Nevins had a vibrant imagination with a curious desire and love for learning new things. His ability to memorize and retain knowledge amazed us repeatedly. He had a heart of gold and cared about everyone around him loving without condition or reservation. Nevins had a quirky and hilarious sense of humor that gave him the title of class clown. His talent for making others laugh and his charismatic personality allowed him to strike up conversations as he lit up any room he entered. Nevins had dreams of continuing his education beyond the high school level and one day hoped to become an engineer,” reads the obituary.

“Nevins enjoyed many sports including football, baseball, and hockey. He began playing football with JFL as a sixth-grade student. Nevins met an incredible group of young men while playing football with the JFL and attending the Fond du Lac school district. He was passionate about football and enjoyed playing his freshman year at Fondy High and his sophomore year with the Laconia Spartans. Nevins and his friends liked to play outdoor hockey on homemade rinks and Lake Winnebago.”

There have been no updates on the other teens who were in the car at the time of the crash. A 16-year-old boy, identified as Tommy Koenigs, was airlifted to a hospital. A 16-year-old girl was taken to a hospital by ambulance. Action 2 News has reached out to the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office for updates on the conditions of the teens, but they tell us there is no update to report.

Tragic news travels fast in a small town, so Laconia High School held a moment of silence during a girl’s basketball game that was held later that day.

Each teen attended a different school in the region. Laconia High School principal Diane Raue told us they had additional counselors available when students returned to school after the weekend.

“All the area’s school districts have been tremendously supportive, as we always are. When these things happen, we always offer support out. So we brought in some additional help from the Ripon School District and then counselors from other buildings in our district,” she said.

Raue added they’ll continue providing additional resources “for as long as students need them.”

“It’s always challenging. You can’t just put a time limit on how long people will need some additional support. And so we know that this will come and go for certain students the amount of support that they need, but that is the benefit of having some counselors in schools and why they’re so important for that,” Raue said.

Nevins was a sophomore at Laconia High School. The principal said he was new to the school this year but quickly got involved in athletics, joining the football team. She said he was always polite and friendly in their conversations and it was a true tragedy to lose someone so young.

Tuesday night, the school has a special event planned to remember him. “We’re actually hosting our boys’ basketball game and our opponent is Saint Mary Springs High School, Fond du Lac, and they as well had a student impacted with this car accident,” Raue said, “and so we met with some Springs representatives [Monday] and we have a planned kind of coming together trying to come together.”

“Typically this would be a very big rivalry between the two schools, and we’re kind of turning that into just joining together to be with one another,” Raue added.

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The three teens in the car went to different schools in Fond du Lac County

The Fond du Lac High School boys’ hockey team is also holding fundraisers Tuesday and Saturday for Tommy Koenigs.

Donations will be collected during the games at Blue Line Family Ice Center to support the Koenigs family. The Fond du Lac High School Hockey Booster Club will match donations, up to $1,500.

Deputies say early the teens were traveling on Golf Course Dr. in Taycheedah and went off the road at a high rate of speed and hit a tree east of Taft Rd. Rescuers were called at about 3:25 a.m.

Nevins Zoch died at the scene.

“Speed and alcohol are contributing factors in this crash,” reads a statement from the sheriff’s office.

“The sheriff’s office crash reconstruction team, drone team, and detective bureau are assisting with the investigation,” says Lt. Nick Kahnke.

Flowers and other items have been placed at a memorial at the crash scene.


A memorial is growing at the site of a deadly crash involving local teenagers in Fond du Lac County. Area schools and businesses are stepping up to offer support to their families and peers.

Deputies say early Saturday morning the teens’ car was on Golf Course Dr. in Taycheedah and went off the road at a high rate of speed and hit a tree east of Taft Rd. Rescuers were called at about 3:25 a.m.

A 16-year-old Eldorado boy died before he could be transported. He was a passenger in the front seat, according to the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office. The Rosendale-Brandon School District identified the teen as a student at Laconia High School.

The driver, a 16-year-old Mount Calvary boy, was airlifted to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center, with life-threatening injuries. We continue to reach out to authorities for an update.

A 16-year-old Fond du Lac girl in the back seat of the car was taken by ambulance to SSM Health-St. Agnes. She’s expected to recover.

“Speed and alcohol are contributing factors in this crash,” reads a statement from the sheriff’s office, which adds that the crash remains under investigation.

“The sheriff’s office crash reconstruction team, drone team, and detective bureau are assisting with the investigation,” says Lt. Nick Kahnke.

Each teen attended a different school in the region. The schools made counselors available to students over the weekend.

“We learned that one of our Laconia High School students died as the result of a car accident,” reads a statement on the Rosendale-Brandon School District Facebook page. “Our condolences go out to the student’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

“Early this morning an SMSA high school student was involved in a car crash involving two other local high school students, with one reported fatality. We are reaching out to Ledger Nation, asking for your prayers,” reads a statement posted on St. Mary Springs Academy Facebook page.

Business owners are also thinking of ways to help the families, especially since one of the teenagers’ family is a part of the bar and restaurant industry.

The owner of Sully’s Irish Pub is organizing a fundraiser. “It’s all considered part of the family, so that’s what the main goal here is for,” Rayce Fleisner said.

Sully’s Pub shared on its Facebook page that 12 local bars and restaurants in the Fond du Lac area are coming together to raise money. The local businesses will have boxes out through the weekend for donations.

Fleisner tells Action 2 News going through this unimaginable tragedy is hard enough; it shouldn’t come with a financial burden, too.

“Fond du Lac is a small area. The bar and restaurant industry, everyone knows each other. You may not always get along at the end of the day, but it’s our goal -- and I know I had the support from the surrounding businesses -- it’s our goal to let them know we’re thinking about you and we are here for you and coming together not only as a community but an industry, feeling our support is the main goal of this all and not just for their family but the other families involved in this,” Fleisner said.

He said 100% of the funds raised will go to the families.

Fleisner will help collect the money and connect with the families privately, adding that he hopes they can find some peace knowing their community is here for them, “Help them forward through this very, very tragic event.”