HUDSONVILLE, Mich. -- A young teen tragically killed in a car crash on Monday is being remembered by his classmates and family.
David Talsma,13, died after the vehicle he was riding in was rear-ended by a pick-up truck along I-196 near M-6. The man who was driving the pick-up told deputies he was eating a sandwich and looked down at his GPS at the time of the crash.
David’s mother and father hope the tragedy serves as a reminder of dangers of distracted driving, hoping to prevent another family from dealing with the same loss.
"We would have never imagined that this would happen to our family or our little boy," said Jason Talsma, David's father.
Jason and Kristin Talsma said that their son David was a kind-hearted and trusting son, who made an impact on not only his family, but also his classmates at Hudsonville Christian Middle School.
"He fit in with the athletes, he fit in with the smart kids. He fit in with the kids who didn't belong. He could slip into any friend group and could love on those kids. He would welcome kids who needed friends," said Kristin Talsma.
The family’s life was turned upside down on Monday when the vehicle driven by their teenage daughter was rear-ended in a construction area of eastbound I-196 near M-6. David was in the backseat and died at the scene.
The family said that they aren’t holding onto anger towards the driver who’s accused of causing the crash.
"I don't wish it on him either, the driver. I mean it doesn't just affect us, he's going to be affected by this for the rest of his life as well," said Kristin Talsma.
David's father said that he understands the many distractions drivers face behind the wheel, but hopes this tragedy opens dialogue within families.
"It's one of those things that I just would ask that parents, families consider what they allow, how they allow that to happen to possibly save a tragedy like this from happening. Just one," said Jason Talsma.
A sudden tragedy, ending the life of a young west Michigan teen whose family hopes his memory can live on by reminding people of the dangers of distracted driving.
"In one second my son went from going to buy a birthday present for his friend to heaven. So, it can happen that quickly and it's important. Just pay attention," said Kristin Talsma.