Friends remember victims of Sparta crash

Created: 06/12/2014 10:14 PM WHEC.com

One man is dead and three others continue to fight for their lives after a deadly crash in Livingston County Thursday morning.

Investigators say a 22-year-old driver tried to pass a dump truck on Route 256 in Sparta, but his car crashed head-on into an oncoming car.

The crash has Brent Masten praying for his longtime friend, Matt Markel. Markel was driving with his dad and friend on Route 256 in Sparta when a car struck them head on. Markel is in critical condition at Strong Hospital. Markel has a young son at home.

Brent Masten said, “For his sake, I hope he's alright so he can see his son grow up.”

Markel’s father, Ted, was pronounced dead at the scene. The 41-year-old was driving when sheriff’s deputies say another vehicle, driven by 22-year-old John Linehan crashed into them while trying to pass a dump truck. Sheriff Tom Dougherty says it's unclear if Linehan was distracted or if he simply didn't see the oncoming car. 

Livingston County Sheriff Tom Dougherty said, “Maybe he was just going along and it was a complete accident. He was going out to pass and just never saw that vehicle. There is the chance that could be.”

Tracey Masten lives across the street from the Markels. She says her heart goes out to the family, including Ted's longtime girlfriend.

Tracey Masten said, “This is hard. I can't believe he's gone. I just saw Betsy yesterday.”

Joe Greene was also in the car with the Markels. He is in critical condition at Strong Hospital. A family member says Greene is undergoing surgery. He is conscious and should pull through.

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