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El Paso County Deputy On Leave Pending Termination After Deadly Crash

By Douglas Hoffacker

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- An El Paso County Sheriff's deputy will soon be terminated, now that prosecutors have decided to file charges against him for his involvement in a fatal accident last month.

The Colorado State Patrol says Deputy Quinlan Linebaugh, 29, caused the crash that killed a couple from Peyton on July 24 on Highway 24 about five miles east of Colorado Springs.

The investigation showed Linebaugh's Chevrolet Impala passed two cars, including a Lincoln, then collided with a dump truck heading the other direction. The dump truck then smashed into the Lincoln head-on.

Hwy 24 crash from July 24 from KKTV copy
(credit: CBS)

The driver of the Lincoln, Kenneth Wuerfele, 75, and his wife Dorothy Wuerfele, 71, died as a result of the crash.

The dump truck driver, James Stutsman, 64, from Idaho Springs, suffered life-threatening injuries. His passenger, Eleazar Velasquez, was treated for minor injuries.

A witness said she saw the deputy giving CPR to one of the victims before emergency crews arrived.

The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office has filed two counts of careless driving causing death and two counts of careless driving causing bodily injury against Linebaugh.

A spokesperson for the sheriff's department says Linebaugh is "on administrative leave without pay pending termination."

Major Scott Copley of the Colorado State Patrol says "my heart goes out to the family and friends of those impacted by this tragedy."

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