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Published: Wednesday, 2/11/2009

Alcohol suspected in crash that killed 2 Otsego H.S. students

BLADE STAFF

Two Otsego High School students were killed in a single-vehicle crash Tuesday night on Grand Rapids Road, north of U.S. 24, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

Jacob Polen, 17, a sophomore, and David Todd, 18, a senior, were pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver, Glenn Walbolt, 56, was taken to the University of Toledo Medical Center, formerly the Medical College of Ohio, with nonlife-threatening injuries.

Alcohol is suspected as a factor in the crash, said Lt. John Altman, commander of the patrol's Toledo post.

Blood was taken from Mr. Walbolt at the hospital, but the lieutenant said it could be several weeks before any results are available.

Mr. Walbolt was northbound about midnight Tuesday on State Rt. 578 when he crossed U.S. 24. He lost control of his vehicle on Grand Rapids Road, went off the right side of the road, and struck a utility pole, troopers at the patrol's Toledo post said.

Lieutenant Altman said the impact of the crash tore the car nearly in half.

He said the two teenagers were partially ejected from the vehicle. No one was wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

All the victims lived in the Grand Rapids Village Estates mobile home park, Lieutenant Altman said.

Otsego High School Principal Ray Graves said the mood of the students at the high school was somber , where grief counselors were available Wednesday for students and staff.

"They were just fine young people that didn't get a chance to lead a full life," Mr. Graves said. "We'll miss them."



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