The grieving parents of a teenager killed when a sleepy teacher crashed a minivan during an overseas school excursion want compensation for psychological distress.

Derrick Runge and Pamela Shorland's 16-year-old son Gabriel Runge died in November 2014 when teacher Andre Vogel smashed head-on into a milk tanker in New Zealand, Daily Mail reported.

The parents from Queensland's Sunshine Coast are suing their late son's alternative Steiner school for psychological injuries.

Teacher Andre Vogel died when he crashed a minivan in November 2014, killing Gabriel. Photo / via Facebook
Teacher Andre Vogel died when he crashed a minivan in November 2014, killing Gabriel. Photo / via Facebook

"We seek a just and fair outcome that honours the loss of Gabriel's life, improved protection for all students participating in outdoor education programmes, accountability of those responsible for Gabriel's welfare and financial compensation reflective of the value of Gabriel's life," they told the Sunday-Mail.

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Their legal case against the Noosa Pengari Steiner School comes two months after Coroner Wallace Bain identified driver fatigue as the key factor in the deaths of the 36-year-old teacher behind the wheel and Gabriel.

The coroner reserved his finding into their deaths at Reporoa, near Rotorua, on November 28, 2014.

Emergency services attend the scene of the fatal crash at Reporoa November 2014. Picture / Stephen Parker
Emergency services attend the scene of the fatal crash at Reporoa November 2014. Picture / Stephen Parker

The crash also injured nine other pupils and a teacher, some seriously.

The parents said the need for closure and not money was their motivation for suing the school.

Emergency services attend the scene of the fatal crash at Reporoa November 2014. Picture / Stephen Parker
Emergency services attend the scene of the fatal crash at Reporoa November 2014. Picture / Stephen Parker

"We did not expect that by encouraging Gabriel to participate in a school excursion we would one week later have to go to New Zealand to bring his body back in a casket," Runge told News Corp Australia.

The students had been on an outdoor education trip to Tongariro National Park and Vogel had been one of two teachers on the excursion.

Grieving parents Derrick Runge and Pamela Shorland. Photo / via Facebook
Grieving parents Derrick Runge and Pamela Shorland. Photo / via Facebook

Noosa Pengari Steiner School principal Michael Layden said the school now had a policy of hiring commercial buses, or dedicated drivers, to transport students.

The inquest heard that shortly before the crash a driver had seen the minivan swerve to the left.

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The only student awake when the crash occurred saw Vogel's hands slip from the steering wheel and his head loll to the side.

At the inquest in November 2015, Runge's parents raised a number of issues including criticism of the school for having no standard of care for their children and for having no management strategy in place. They also raised the issue of neither teacher monitoring each other's fatigue levels.