Teen driver dead after crashing into Walmart store wall - FOX 32 News Chicago

Teen driver dead after crashing into wall of Sterling Heights Walmart

Posted: Updated:

By Maurielle Lue
FOX 2 News Reporter


STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. -- 19-year-old Jake Geml was killed instantly when he crashed his car into the wall of a 24-hour Walmart Supercenter in Sterling Heights.

"He was probably traveling between 50 and 70 miles an hour," said Luke Riley with Sterling Heights Police.

Geml graduated from high school in June.  He wanted to be an EMT.  Instead, his friends are laying flowers at the place where he died.

"I was really close with him," said Ashleigh Glister.  "I just (saw) him last week at our homecoming game, and he walked his sister."

"He was just such a good kid, and I just had to come up and see what happened and bring him flowers."

The force of the impact only left a small crack in the wall, but police say the one thing that's not there is the most troubling.

"There was no indication that he attempted to stop the vehicle prior to striking the wall," Riley explained.

Sterling Heights Police say they're waiting for toxicology reports from the autopsy.  They're investigating this as a fatal accident, but since there are no tire marks, police say it could be a suicide.  His friends say no way.

"He would never, absolutely never.  After losing one of our other friends last year, we all (saw) the effect of it, and Jake would never ever.  He loved his life.  He was just the happiest kid," Glister remarked.

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