Dansville man killed in Livingston County crash

Updated: 06/12/2014 5:22 PM
Created: 06/12/2014 9:06 AM WHEC.com
By: Rebecca Fath

A father is dead after a head-on crash in Livingston County Thursday morning.  Deputies say the father, his son and son’s friend were in a car, hit by another vehicle trying to pass a dump truck in Sparta.

Route 256 in Sparta is where the accident happened. Sheriff’s deputies say the man tried to pass a dump truck and in the process, killed one man and sent his son and his son’s friend to the hospital.

Sheriff Tom Dougherty, Livingston County, said, “When you’re in a 55 MPH zone, there's nothing slow about it. You have two cars traveling at 55 mph at a combined impact of 110 mph. It's very violent.”

Police say 41-year-old Ted Markel was driving a red car. Markel was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say he had his son, Matt, and Matt’s friend, Joe Greene, in the car with him. Matt and Joe remain at Strong Hospital in critical condition. Investigators believe the trio may have been driving to work. 

The other car was driven by 22-year-old, John Linehan. 

Sheriff Dougherty said, “This car had a single occupant. John Linehan was driving this car and when he went out to pass, the three people in this car were all injured, one deceased.”

News10NBC spoke to a family friend of the Markels, who say she feels for Matt Markel. Not only is he fighting for his life, he has to deal with the loss of his father.

Lori Milks, family friend, said, “I just think this is going to be very hard on him. I just feel bad for them.”

It is still not clear where Linehan was headed as well. Investigators say they are still piecing things together.

Sheriff Dougherty said, “If the operator, who went to pass was intoxicated or impaired or on a cell phone, those are the types of things we have to look at.”

Police say they tested Linehan for drugs and alcohol, but toxicology reports can take weeks or months to come back.

A third vehicle, driven by David Lang of Caledonia, sustained minor damage when trying to avoid the accident. He was not injured.  

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