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Two local teenagers die in Route 422 crash

             March 27, 2003

Doug Link and Crystal Rose

Two local teenagers died as a result of injuries sustained when their car collided with a tractor-trailer on Route 422 near Bethel in Blacklick Township on Monday, March 24. The driver, Doug Lewis Link, 18, of Blacklick Township, was pronounced dead at the scene. Crystal L. Rose, 15, of Buffington Township, a passenger in the car, died of her injuries at Johnstown's Memorial Medical Center a few hours later.

Police reported that tests found that no drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident, but the cause of the car's crashing head-on into the Freightliner tractor-trailer remains a mystery. Acquaintances of the teenagers believed they were returning home from Altoona when the crash occurred. The 1988 Buick Century station wagon being driven by Link westbound on Route 422 crossed into the eastbound lane. The truck driver, Olav Nevin Johnson, 49, of Evans City, Butler County, was not injured, police reported.

State Department of Transportation officials in Hollidaysburg are investigating the highway at the crash scene to determine if road conditions can be improved there, PennDOT district traffic engineer Roger Dodson said.

This poem is by a close friend of
Crystal and Doug, Bobby Folckemer

For Crystal and Doug

One lonely stretch of highway,
One barren spot of land,
One small speed limit road sign,
One event no one had planned.

On that cold Monday evening,
With one wrong turn of the wheel,
The tractor trailer couldn't stop,
It seems so unreal.

No one knows what happened,
Everyone is asking why,
Things like this have to occur,
And people so young die.

It still has yet to hit me,
It feels like a nightmare.
I can picture Crystal laughing,
As Doug says, "Harry, no one cares."

Everyone has been in shock,
Since that terrible day,
When the Lord decided it was time,
To take two teens away.

Though we know it's for the better,
And God's will is the best,
This matter still is causing,
Us to have much unrest.

You'll always be remembered,
Within every single heart,
Of all the many lives you've touched,
Counting them one cannot start.

—Bobby Folckemer, age 18

The site is less than a mile from the intersection of Route 422 and Cardiff Road, where another fatal crash occurred in February, claiming the lives of a woman and two young children from Virginia.

Both Link and Rose were members of the youth group of Pike Grace Brethren Church in Mundys Corner. Their pastor, the Rev. Rick Clark, told a reporter they were strong in their Christian faith, both "caring and giving individuals who meant much to their families and the church."

Doug Link was born April 30, 1984, in Johnstown, the son of Earl and Loreen "Sis" (Stiles) Link. He is preceded in death by uncles Don Link and Frank Wirfel and his maternal great-grandmother, "GG" Stiles.

Survivors include his parents, a sister, Jessica Link; brothers Kyle and Curtis Link; his maternal grandparents, Wayne and Gretta Stiles, and his paternal grandparents, Clyde and Edna Link, all of Blacklick Township. He is also survived by uncles and aunts, Brian and Vicki Murphy, Wayne and Dawn Stiles, and Joel Stiles, all of Blacklick Township; Ted and Theresa Cromling, North Carolina; Vern and Barb Colgan, Acme, Pa.; Patty Link and Sheila Chambers, of West Virginia; Bill and Linda O'Conner, Virginia; Alan and Jean Wirfel, New Germany; Tim and Cindy Henderson, Revloc, and Matt and Cathy Bouch, Belsano, and also many cousins.

A 2002 graduate of Buxmont Christian Educational Institute, Doug attended Cambria County Area Community College.

Crystal Lynn Rose was born Nov. 15, 1987, in Johnstown, the daughter of Mark L. and Pamela (Boyer) Rose. She is preceded in death by an uncle, Barry Rose, and is survived by her parents and brother, Adam Rose, all of Buffington Township. Also surviving are her maternal grandparents, Arthur and Vivian Boyer of Mundys Corner; paternal grandparents, Duane and Dorothy Rose, Buffington Township; uncles and aunts, Michael and Kathy Rose, Buffington Township; Vicki and Darl Murton, Jackson Township; Remington and Traci Rose, Buffington Township, and Cathy and Mark Christian, Virginia, and numerous cousins.

Crystal attended the Cambria County Christian School through the fifth grade and was later home-schooled by her parents from grades sixth through ninth. She was the vice president of Blacklick Rabbit 4-H Club.

Funeral services for both were held at Pike Grace Brethren Church, the Rev. Dr. Rick Clark and the Rev. Bradley J. Deetscreek officiating. Interment was in the church cemetery, Askew-Houser Funeral Home, Nanty Glo, officiating.

In lieu of flowers, Crystal's family requested donations to Crystal Rose Memorial Fund, c/o First National Bank, 2690 William Penn Avenue, Johnstown, Pa. 15909.

The youths' pastor told the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat that Link and Rose enjoyed life, being with each other and with Crystal's older brother, Adam. The three of them did many things together. It is a difficult time for their families, "but they are both strong Christian families who trust in God even in this adversity," Pastor Clark said.

Click here for a tribute by their youth pastor, the Rev. Brad Deetscreek,
and a poem by Brad Rose.

Additional thoughts and memorials for this page are welcome. Email.

The Nanty Glo Home Page expresses sincere sympathy to the
family members and friends of Doug Link and Crystal Lynn Rose

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