Police: Texting teen dies in Ottawa County crash

(UPDATED: Thursday 11:45 a.m.) A 17-year-old Grand Rapids boy died Wednesday night when his car drifted across the road and struck another vehicle head-on.
Becky Vargo
Jun 19, 2014


The crash occurred at about 10:45 p.m. on 8th Avenue north of Lincoln Street, east of Marne.

Police said 17-year-old Jacob Daniel Freybler was driving his 1996 Oldsmobile Sierra south on 8th Avenue when he crossed the center line and struck a northbound 2014 GMC Terrain SUV.

He was sending and receiving texts at the time of the crash, police said.

Wright-Tallmadge firefighters extricated Freybler from his car, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Sgt. Steve Austin of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.

Paramedics transported the driver of the SUV, 59-year-old Timothy Anderson of Grand Rapids, to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Anderson had some broken bones, but his injuries were not life-threatening, Austin said.

Both drivers wore seatbelts, Austin said. Alcohol and speed were not believed to be factors in the crash.

The crash remains under investigation.



My thoughts and prayers to the family of this young man, their lives are forever changed. Years from now, when the whole in their hearts is scarred over, they will be passing on condolences and making comments to you all because they know; just like our family knows.

How long will it take us, how many more of your young people will die, before we do something that will facilitate forcing people to keep their eyes on the road? When the center line is crossed into head on traffic it is because one is not paying attention or looking at the road; why in the world would you not be looking at the road?

It is now too late for this family, don't let this happen to yours, be an example for your children, stop doing anything but driving when you are behind the wheel. Talk to them, share with them, plead with them, do what you must but stop this madness and tragic loss of life...


So sad and avoidable. We don't know what caused this and most likely never will. I have been rear ended, run off the road, and turned in front of, while riding my Harley the last few years. In all cases the other driver was using a cell phone. I would suggest . Disable the phone while the vehical is in operation. With todays technology this would not be hard to do. People would figure ways around it but at least it would be a start. Something has to be done.


Bro your right on, when I am riding my Harley you see it all ya whould like to take those cell phones everybody has glued to their head out of their hands and pitch them. Just drive your car. We have law makeres in Lancing making all sorts of stupid laws,mostley to make money off us,cell phone use needs to be baned wile driving, how many more acidents need to happen till they wake the heck up.

deuce liti

Drinking and driving is illegal and how many losers go to the bar to drink?

Banning it won't change much.


Once they start paying fines it will.that's what I thought with seatbelts.

deuce liti

But paying the ultimate fine hasn't deterred worthless bar-goers or drivers who text.

Maybe it'll cut down a bit if enough white women are ticketed and the word spreads.


Why do they have to be white women? Why can't word just spread? There are plenty of texting while driving laws all over the country. Georgia has this law and every day people are arrested, booked and mug shotted for texting while driving. Ultimately the responsibility falls on the individual personally.


Georgia has a texting while driving law? That's interesting. They also just passed a "guns everywhere" law that permits firearms to be carried into churches, bars, and airports. I guess to protect against all those texting drivers?

Tri-cities realist

Well they had to start somewhere. I thought you would applaud their nuanced approach to solving a problem. ;-)


WHITE women??!

deuce liti

Yup. Nothing seems to change when it happens to minorities. People dont care.

Have you not seen transmissions about American history during the last 200 years from planet SCH39339?


I think I'll leave at 3:30 today and spend time with my kids again. And if I get fired for not working the overtime- boss can stick it. Stories like this make me realize how short life is. I'll take him fishing, bowling and maybe take tomorrow off. Have 45 hours in already by Thursday. Let em can me and send me down the road for not working 55. I'm sick of it. Taking my teenager out for dinner right away. Tool and Die industry is the pits as a career.


Phone companies should make it that your phone shuts down when its moving more then 20 mph.


or people could do the right thing and turn the phone off. GM does not need another thing to screw up.


The same reason they don't disable the radio while going over 20 mph for the last 40 years.

What about the passenger that needs to call for directions? Or mom wants to order pizza for the kids on the way home while dad's driving?

There's no reason why jr. shouldn't be able to watch a movie on Netflix on a long road trip. Drivers need to learn to not be idiots.


A teaching moment for the community.


Thought's and Prayer's to the family!..


just call it extreme sports, there moto is your going to die anyway doing what want to do


A little uncalled for HC, and also insensitive to all concerned.


My sincere condolences to the family, friends and victims of this young man.

This is a lot of hurt for a lot of people. Human nature can never be explained, but has to be endured by us all.

There is no real solution to preventing today's technology causing deaths. It doesn't matter what car you are driving, there are too many distractions these days.

Remember changing an 8-track while driving?

The "problem" (RESPONSIBILITY) always lies with the driver.

Ignore everything except the task at hand. Just drive.

Perhaps cell phones should be treated by law as open containers of alcohol!??


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