Newton grad dies in crash

Head-on collision occured in Texas



By Melody Vallieu

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — A 2008 Newton Local Schools graduate died in a head-on collision in Texas early Sunday.

Lyle Thomas Hussong, 26, who was reportedly working and living in Stephenville, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, according to the Stephenville Empire-Tribune in Stephenville, Texas.

A Tarleton State University football player also was killed in collision early Sunday morning on U.S. Highway 281 in Stephenville. Alex Sanchez, 21, died at the scene after his 2014 white Chrysler 300 traveling north on Highway 281 veered into oncoming traffic, striking the 1997 green Ford pick flatbed driven by Hussong, according to the accident report.

Hussong, the son of Mark Hussong and Jane (Mitchell) Gearhardt, both also Newton grads, was also pronounced dead at the scene. He was living in Stephenville, but was an Ohio resident.

The accident occurred about 2 a.m.

Hussong’s Facebook page — where family and friends are remembering him — says he was a ranch manager at JB McLamb Cutting Horses, and he was residing in Stephenville. Judy Benson, administrative assistant at the Newton High School, said Hussong’s father was instrumental in helping him find the job at the ranch, where he started this past spring.

Sanchez was a 2013 graduate of Stephenville High School and was set to begin his senior year at Tarleton, where he played wide receiver.

Newton Local Schools Superintendent Pat McBride said Hussong — an athlete who played basketball, soccer and baseball — was a good young man.

“He was well liked by his classmates, other students, teachers and administrators,” McBride said. “He was personable and respectful to all.

Lyle was a good young man while at Newton.”

Hussong is from a large, close-knit family, according to McBride, who said his thoughts and prayers are with his family and the community at this time. Benson said Hussong had returned to the Pleasant Hill area for Father’s Day for a visit.

“It will be hard for his family,” McBride said.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 2, at Jackson-Sarver Funeral Home, 1 S. Main St., Pleasant Hill. The family will receive friends from 4-8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Head-on collision occured in Texas