TOLEDO -- Tragedy hit Whitmer High School when one student was killed and four others were hurt in a car crash in Monroe County. The crash happened just before midnight Thursday at the intersection of Whiteford Center and Clegg roads in Whiteford Township, Michigan.
Students and parents are stunned by the news that one of the kids, 18-year-old Charlie Fackelman, died in the accident. Charlie was a well-liked baseball player for Whitmer. He was a pitcher and played short stop. Friday afternoon, players and parents gathered at the baseball field to share their grief.
Charlie was a passenger in the car that skidded off a Monroe County road and slammed into a tree. Investigators believe the driver, 17-year-old Austin Oberle, was speeding, ran a stop sign, and crashed. Charlie died at The Toledo Hospital Friday morning.
Another passenger, 17-year-old Stevie Beale, is in critical condition. And three other Whitmer students -- Austin Oberle, Ashley Roth, and Carl Ziegler -- were treated and released.
Charlie's coach told News 11 the team is banding together to console each other. "There's a lot of upset young men, young women, and they're just here to be with each other -- and to support each other that way," Gary O'Connor said. "Not a lot being said right now. Just 'we're here for you.' They're telling each other how they're there to support each other in any way possible."
Coach O'Connor says Charlie would have been a senior this year, and he was one of the most talented kids on team.
Deputies are checking into unconfirmed reports that another car could have been chasing the car the kids were in. The Monroe County Sheriff's Department says alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the fatal crash.
Posted by PJS
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