Family, community grief-stricken over Port Orange dentist killed in wrong-way crash

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PORT ORANGE, Fla. —

A 91-year-old man is being blamed for causing a wrong-way crash on Interstate 75 in north Florida that involved a Greyhound bus.

The wreck killed a Volusia County oral surgeon.

State troopers said 91-year-old Ernest Holmes drove his Buick against traffic on the interstate.

They said Holmes plowed his car head-on into Peter Linek’s Ford Expedition, killing them both.

Family and friends of Linek, who was from Port Orange, said he had a passion for his practice, but his love for his family was greater.

He had a wife and four young children.

“He was a fantastic dentist, but he lived for his kids and wife,” said Linek’s father-in-law Lonnie Ritenour. “It was sad. They came and told us at 6 in the morning. It was just heart breaking. Pete was such a great guy.”

Ritenour said Linek had been driving to Atlanta to drop off furniture for a family member with his two German shepards.

“My daughter went to pick one up. One survived and one didn’t make it,” Ritenour said.

As loved ones tried to comprehend what happened, they said they will always remember Linek and the joy he brought to others.

There have been at least three deadly crashes involving a wrong-way driver on Florida interstates this year.

In February, a group of University of South Florida students were killed on I-275 in the Tampa area.

Some of them were from central Florida.