Athens teenager killed in weekend rollover crash

HAMBURG (WAOW) – An Athens teenager died when the car he was driving drifted off a rural road into a ditch, struck a culvert, went airborne, "began flipping" and ended up in a field on its roof, according to Marathon County Sheriff Department reports reviewed Wednesday.

John M. Koehler, 18, was ejected from the 2000 Ford Focus and died at the scene on County Road S near Hamburg about 4 p.m. Sunday, the reports said.

Koehler’s actions were unknown, including whether he was distracted, but investigators recovered his cell phone in the car "for a data extraction," the reports said. Also there was "no avoidance maneuver" on the straight stretch of road between County Road F and Rainbow Drive.

A man outside a home told police he saw the Focus go by and it "appeared to be going the speed limit and not driving recklessly at all," the reports said.

Drugs and alcohol were not believed to be factors in the crash, investigators have said.

Koehler graduated from Merrill High School, was an avid deer hunter, had a passion for participating in tractor pulls, was an Allis-Chalmers fan and liked to snowmobile and spend time with friends, according to his obituary.

Funeral services will be Friday at 11 a.m. at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Town of Berlin. Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements.



More News


Eagle River
Stevens Point
Wisconsin Rapids
More wind on the way, with rain and snow showers

More wind on the way, with rain and snow showers

Tonight: Clear early, then increasing clouds.  A few sprinkles possible late.  A bit breezy at times and mild. Low: 46

Click for forecast details
Connect With Us
Top Stories

Stabbing in Stevens Point

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WAOW) — The Stevens Point Police Department is investigating a stabbing. According to a press release from

Tigerton man dead in lumberyard incident

TIGERTON (WAOW) – A 46-year-old Tigerton man died Thursday in an industrial accident at Tigerton Lumber Co. Scott Spiegal died

Missed the WAOW Meth Special Report? Watch in its entirety here!

For more meth special content from WAOW and our affiliates, be sure to check out the rest of our Meth:

UPDATE: Possible sighting of missing Wisconsin teen in Miami, couple killed identified

UPDATE:  Authorities said someone who looks like Jayme Closs, a missing teen from Wisconsin, was seen at a gas station in

Report: Shelter in hurricane’s path warns it will euthanize animals if they aren’t adopted

An upsetting report from the Washington Post indicates that, for animals left behind or abandoned as people flee the Carolinas' coasts, the

Scroll to top
Skip to content