KENT COUNTY, Mich. (June 19, 2014) — Family and friends of Jacob Freybler, 17, held a candle light vigil for him at the Wendy’s on Alpine Avenue where he worked.
They were brought together by tragedy less than 24 hours after his untimely death.
“I’ve cried all day because I can’t believe he’s gone. He was like the light in everybody’s life, and now he’s gone,” Karley Mead said.
“It’s hard knowing that your best friend died because of texting,” she added.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said Freybler crossed the center line while driving southbound on 8th Avenue in Tallmadge Township. He hit another vehicle head on.
Deputies said Freybler had sent his last text 2 minutes before the crash.
“We’ve all done it. But like you don’t know… you don’t know what you’re going to lose,” Mead said.
His parents lost their youngest son who they say dreamed of becoming a fireman. Thursday evening, they sent up balloons in his honor hoping he knows just how much he’s missed.
“I can’t…I don’t want to bury my son but I have to,” Jim Freybler, Jacob’s father told FOX 17.
“In the car is no place when you’re driving to be texting or on that phone pull over or get in the parking lot…Ya know be safe with it otherwise you’re going to bury em,” he said.
Alex Alt said he planned to go fishing with Freybler this summer.
“You don’t really think one of your friends is going to be hurt and all of a sudden it happens. It kind of shows how much your life can change that quick,” Alt said.
Friend Andrew Baker said, “He’s looking down on us right now. He’s probably smiling on it, saying ‘wow, look at all these people that came out for me.”
Alt said, “It gives the family and friends a lot of moral support. They just know he’s in a better place now, and he’s going to be alright.”