Cara and Jonathan Zacher

A young couple with roots in the Black Hills who were expecting their second child died Monday in a car crash while on their way to their first obstetrics appointment in North Dakota.

Cara and Jonathan Zacher died near Minot when a driver crossed into their lane and crashed his pickup head-on into the Zachers' SUV, which burst into flames, according to a news release from the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

The driver of the pickup, 78-year-old Marvin Ness of Douglas, N.D., also died. A child, likely the couple's daughter, survived with minor injuries. All were wearing seat belts. 

Cara, 27, was raised in Box Elder and attended Black Hills State University at the School of Mines campus. Jonathan, 28, grew up in Parshall, N.D. and graduated from the School of Mines. The couple married in 2014 in Spearfish before moving to Parshall. 

They died while on the way to their first obstetrics appointment in Minot for their second child, according to their obituary. 

The crash occurred in Ward County around 12:30 p.m., a news release says. 

Ness was traveling westbound when he crossed into the eastbound lane, hitting the Parshalls. Ness' truck came to rest upright on the south slope of the highway while the SUV landed on the passenger side in the south ditch before bursting into flames.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. 

Cara was home-schooled in Box Elder and participated in 4-H and volleyball at Rapid City Christian High School, the obituary says. Jonathan was raised on his family farm, was his high school's salutatorian, and participated in football, track and golf. He graduated from Mines with honors in mechanical engineering and had obtained his pilot's license. 

A celebration of life is being held for the couple this Saturday at 1 p.m. Central Time at the Parshall High School Gym. A fund has been set up for their daughter, Audrey, at Cornerstone Bank: PO Box 7, Parshall, ND 58770.

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— Contact Arielle Zionts at arielle.zionts@rapidcityjournal.com

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