GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Friends, family members, and coworkers of 17-year-old Jacob Freybler gathered Thursday night at the Alpine Wendy's restaurant where he worked. The teen died Wednesday night in a crash in Marne.
Authorities say that at the time of the crash, Freybler was texting while behind the wheel.
The restaurant closed early for the vigil, which included the teen's parents, Jim and Diane Freybler, imploring people to put away their phones while driving.
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Ahead of the vigil, Jim and Diane told WZZM 13 that they hope parents help kids keep their hands on the wheel and off mobile devices.
"If you don't stop texting while you are driving, you are going to be right here with us, having a picture left of your son or daughter [and] planning a funeral."
Jim said Jacob was coming home from his girlfriend's house Wednesday and was texting a friend back and forth when he crossed the center line, hitting a vehicle head-on.
"Texting is an addiction, like alcohol or drugs," Diane said.
Jacob's dad said he hopes to save kids from distracting themselves behind the wheel. "What's so doggone important? It's not worth it. It's not worth it."