Ralston man injured in wreck dies

The elderly man critically injured in a violent two-car head-on crash early Thursday afternoon near Montoursville died hours later in the emergency room at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, a nursing supervisor confirmed Friday night.

Max L. Schaefer, 85, of Ralston, died sometime Thursday night, the supervisor said. Efforts to reach a representative of the Montour County Coroner’s Office were unsuccessful.

Schaefer’s northbound 2004 Mercury Sable collided with a southbound 2009 Subaru Impreza driven by Brooke E. Koch, 21, of Jersey Shore, in the southbound lane on Fairfield Road, just south of Brushy Ridge Road, in Fairfield Township about 12:45 p.m., Trooper Johnathan Buynak, the lead investigator said.

Koch suffered minor injuries in the crash, Buynak said.

“Schaefer slowed suddenly and swerved into the southbound lane to avoid colliding with another vehicle that also slowed suddenly,” the trooper said.

Volunteer firefighters from Montoursville, Loyalsock Township and Muncy area worked nearly 40 minutes to free Schaefer from the wreckage. They had to remove his car’s roof and doors in order to free him.

Volunteer fire police, along with state Department of Transportation employees, detoured traffic around the crash while state troopers conducted their investigation.