Four die in car crash over weekend

The happiness of Tri-City United’s Homecoming week, the football win, the fireworks during the game, and the dances, was cut short on Friday, Sept. 27 when four people from TCU’s communities died in a two-vehicle accident.
Jeffrey J. Miller 22, of Le Center, Travis A. Reak 24, also of Le Center, Condon Hulgan 51, of Montgomery and his step-daughter Mary Urtuzuastegui 11, all died at the scene of the crash.
One of the vehicles passengers, Mark Miller, 24, also of Le Center, is recovering from injuries at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale where he was airlifted after the accident.
According to the State Highway Patrol, the two-vehicle accident happened on a curve on Lexington Road (County Road 26), four miles west of Montgomery. 
Hulgan and Urtuzuastegui lived on 191st Ave., just off County Road 26 where the accident occurred.
The accident report stated that Jeffrey Miller was driving a 1979 Mercedes eastbound on County Road 26, with Reak and Mark Miller as passengers. The three men were not wearing seat belts. 
Hulgan and Urtuzuastegui were on their way home from the exciting TCU Homecoming Football game where the Titans beat the Sibley East Wolverines 47-6. Hulgan was driving a 1996 Ford Explorer when he crossed the centerline. The two vehicles collided head on at approximately 10:02 p.m., setting the Explorer on fire. Scorch marks are still visible on the road.
The state patrol did not indicate if speed or alcohol were factors in the crash. 
Officers’ actions prevent 2nd fire
The Montgomery Fire and Police Departments, North Ambulance North Aircare, Mayo Air Care and the Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Department assisted on the scene.
A second fire to the Mercedes was prevented by the quick actions from Montgomery Police officers. 
According to the report, Montgomery Police officer Pete Bulger said as he arrived on the scene, one vehicle was totally engulfed in flames, and the other dangerously close. 
“As I arrived on the scene, Officer Pat Nelson advised by radio that the second vehicle (Mercedes) was not on fire and that it would need to be pushed away from the vehicle on fire. I positioned my squad car behind the vehicle and pushed it to the shoulder.”
Helping the families
Since the accident, family and friends have been helping the accident victims’ survivors. Doreen Devoy-Hulgan, Urturuastegui’s mother and Hulgan’s wife has received help at their farm from friends. On Sunday evening a Rosary was held for all four victims, and on Monday morning four candles were lit during Mass at Holy Redeemer, with many dressed in blue in remembrance of Mary. 
Tri-City United Schools and Most Holy Redeemer School, where Urturuastegui was a sixth grader, have had counselors come in to support the students and relatives of the four victims.
On Friday, during the HRS Marathon, students will wear buttons with Mary’s picture and the names of all of the victims.
Friends of Urtuzuastegui have set up an account for her at Frandsen Bank and Trust of Montgomery. There is also an online memorial page for her and her step-dad. To donate, visit:
CornerStone State Bank also has an account set up for Urtuzuastegui, and the other victims in the crash, Condon Hulgan, Jeff Miller and Travis Reak.
Remembering the victims
Mary “Molly” Urtuzuastegui
The youngest of the four victims from last weekend’s accident was Mary “Molly” Urtuzuastegui, 11, daughter of Doreen Devoy and Brion Urtuzuastegui, and step-daughter of the late Condon Hulgan. 
Mary was a sixth grader at Most Holy Redeemer School and described as a “bubbly young girl” by her teacher Mrs. Michelle Rynda. She was involved in many activities, including 4-H, Girl Scouts, dance, HRS softball, and the Singing Angels Choir. 
Principal Mindy Reeder said students are doing well and keeping busy making posters and signs and memorials by her locker. 
Mary's close-knit Christian family at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church has been by the family's side since the tragic accident. On Sunday, a Memorial Mass was held as part of the regular Mass where Mary was scheduled to altar serve and sing with the Singing Angels Choir. The choir will perform again at her funeral. 
With each day that goes by, there will be many moments of “missing Mary” had by all who knew her. Rynda commented: “What I'll miss is her most beautiful smile and energy that she brought to school every day.”
Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Miller, a graduate of Le Center High School, was a wrestler with the Coyote wrestling team of Le Center and Montgomery-Lonsdale schools. One of his teammates, Nate Friederich, remembers Jeff as a person who worked hard to improve himself and never gave up on himself or his team.
“He was the type of person who was always joking around and having fun, but when it came down to working hard to improve himself in what he likes doing (wrestling, for example), he worked hard and never gave up,” Friederich said. “I remember most about him joking around and trying to make people laugh - and succeeding at it! He will always be a wrestling teammate and friend.”
Condon Hulgan
Condon Hulgan had the mind of an engineer, brains of a chemist and an immense drive that  had him during his life welding for  aerospace government subcontractors, creating and developing prototypes of LED lights, and eventually raising heritage poultry. 
A traumatic accident that injured his brain during his career may have forced him to change careers, but it didn’t squelch his drive to succeed. 
“He was a very, very driven person, and could discern different shades of color that I couldn’t see,” said his wife, Doreen.
Doreen and “Sparky” met in Arizona, married, and eventually settled in Minnesota, where Doreen’s sister lived with their mother who has been recovering from a stroke. 
Wanting to live a simpler life and get back to nature, Doreen and Sparky enrolled in a Farm Beginning Course through the Land Stewardship Project. That eventually brought them to Montgomery in May, 2011, with Doreen’s three children, where they farmed vegetables and raised heritage breeds of poultry.
Doreen said Sparky loved being in Montgomery.
“When we would get to the city line, he would say, ‘I love it here. I just love it.’” Doreen recalls. “He was so sweet and very outgoing. He loved to talk to people and had a lot in common with everyone. He made a lot of friends.”
Sparky loved animals and often had a deep connection with them, Doreen said, often getting animals to do things they normally wouldn’t do. He was especially close to his Dachshund, “Blue”.
“We had the most amazing seven years together,” Doreen said. “I think we had in seven years what most people don’t ever get.”
Doreen knows what she lost in the accident on September 27, but she is also deeply aware of what other families have lost too. 
“This is not just about Mary, or me losing my husband,” she said. “It’s about all of us. Those boys (Jeffrey Miller and Travis Reak) were someone else’s children, and those families have gaping holes in their family too.”
Travis Reak
Twenty-four-year-old Travis Reak enjoyed entertaining his friends, hunting, fishing, watching football, golfing, playing darts, and pool. Jon Reak, Travis’s first cousin, said he will remember Travis as very outgoing, someone who always lived life to the fullest. 
“I will always remember him playing cards at family gatherings with a smile,” Jon said. 

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