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Texting While Driving Believed to be Factor in Fatal Marne Crash


TALLMADGE TWP., MI (WHTC) - A two-vehicle crash south of Marne has claimed the life of one Grand Rapids man and hospitalized another - all apparently because of texting while driving.

According to Ottawa County Sheriff's Sergeant Steve Austin, 17-year-old Jacob Freybler was driving his pickup south on 8th Avenue around 10:45 last night and didn't make it to Lincoln Street. Investigators learned that he was involved with the text feature on his cell phone when the truck drifted over the center line and slammed into a northbound SUV head on.

Pinned in his vehicle, Freybler had to be extricated by first responders and was declared dead at the scene. The other driver, 59-year-old Timothy Anderson, was taken to Spectrum-Butterworth Hospital for treatment of a broken leg and is expected to recover; a passenger in his SUV, 33-year-old Ryan Anderson of Grand Rapids, was unhurt.

Austin added that all involved were buckled up, and that alcohol and speed were apparently not factors in the crash, which remains under investigation.