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thedrifter
07-26-07, 07:47 AM
Posted July 26, 2007

Marine killed in crash was to serve in Iraq

Pfc. Jason M. Toeller, home on leave, was 'ready to go'

By Janet Ortegon and Troy Laack
Sheboygan Press staff


Pfc. Jason M. Toeller was about a week away from being deployed to Iraq when he was killed early Wednesday morning in a one-car rollover crash in the Town of Sheboygan.


Toeller, 19, of 1137 Greenfield Ave., had been training at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and was home on a short leave from the Marines before being deployed, said his brother, Jeremiah Toeller, 26.


"He was ready to go, he was just mad that he didn't get enough time to spend with everyone," Jeremiah Toeller said.


According to the Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department, Jason Toeller was driving a 1998 Ford Explorer south on I-43 about 1:40 a.m. The SUV went off the east side of the freeway, back onto the road, slid sideways, went into the west ditch and overturned at least five times, ejecting Toeller. The Explorer crashed through a fence and stopped on county Highway A, which runs parallel to I-43.


Toeller, the only person in the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene by the county coroner. His body was found just east of the fence. Alcohol apparently was a factor in the crash, the sheriff's department said.


Jeremiah Toeller said his brother — the sixth in a family of 11 siblings and half-siblings — was a cheerful person who loved to make people laugh and one day wanted to build fine furniture.


"He was a handsome young man, a hard worker," Jeremiah Toeller said. "He was the joker. He was good at imitating people's actions and voices. He was always making people laugh."


Andrew Harris, 19, was friends with Jason Toeller since the fourth grade and wasn't at all surprised when he enlisted in the Marines after his 2006 graduation from Sheboygan South High School.


"He wanted to make something of himself," Harris said.


Jason Toeller and another friend, who is currently serving in the Middle East, had planned to go into business together doing carpentry work or home improvements, Harris said.


"(They) talked about it all the time," Harris said.


Jeremiah Toeller said his little brother was "fearless."


"He wasn't scared of nothing," he said. "He was adventurous. He was there for anybody that needed him whenever, whatever it was."


Funeral arrangements for Jason Toeller were to be announced today.


Toeller's death was the ninth fatality on Sheboygan County roads so far this year, which matches the county's highway death toll for all of 2006. Toeller was also the fourth person killed in crashes on county roads in less than a week.


Reach Janet Ortegon at jortegon@sheboygan-press.com and (920) 453-5121. Reach Troy Laack at tlaack@sheboygan-press.com and (920) 453-5133.

Ellie