Drugs were factor in Aug. US 10 fatal crash involving sailboat.

September 6, 2017

Drugs were factor in Aug. US 10 fatal crash involving sailboat.


By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief. 

AMBER TOWNSHIP — The man who died in a vehicle crash involving a trailered sailboat on US 10-31 on Aug. 5 had traces of Ecstasy, Oxycodone, and alcohol in his body, according to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole.

Jacob Gross, 31, of Roscommon was pronounced dead at the scene following the three vehicle crash. Gross was driving east on US 10-31 about 1/4 mile west of Stiles Road Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, when his vehicle crossed into the westbound lane about 6:10 p.m. Gross’s vehicle sideswiped a westbound 2017 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck driven by Michael Stacey, 61, of Grand Rapids then struck a westbound Chevrolet SUV, driven by Donald Nelson, 58, of Whitehall. Nelson was hauling a lightweight sailboat which came off the trailer and landed in the windshield of Gross’ vehicle, killing him. Stacey had minor injuries and was transported to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. Nelson was uninjured. The passengers in the pickup and SUV were not injured. 

According to a toxicology report following an autopsy, Gross had 140 nanograms/milliliters (ng/mL) of Oxycodone, 41 ng/mL of Ecstasy (MDMA), and .02 percent of alcohol in his blood at the time of death. None of the amounts are considered lethal.

Sheriff Cole said the crash report has been updated to indicate that drugs were a factor in the crash. He added that since 2009, drugged driving related crashes in Mason County have increased by 40 percent. He said law enforcement officers have been receiving training to identify when a driver is under the influence of drugs, other than alcohol.

Gross was a father of four children and a US Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had been working in the area as a heating and cooling technician and as a carpenter, according to his uncle, Joseph Jaber.

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