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Nate Marburger

Nate Marburger

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A recent Thomas Worthington High School graduate critically injured in a car crash in North Carolina earlier this week died tonight.

Nate Marburger, 18, died at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, N.C., according to a hospital spokeswoman.Marburger was riding in a sport-utility vehicle driven by Jason Chakroff that crashed at 9 a.m.

Monday, Trooper Chris Knox of the North Carolina State Patrol said.Chakroff, 18, and another passenger, Andrea Ewing, 16, were treated for minor injuries.Chakroff, who was driving all night, apparently fell asleep and lost control of the vehicle, the State Patrol said.

The three were heading to Greensboro to watch a soccer tournament where Chakroff's brother was playing.

They crashed only a mile from their destination.Chakroff also graduated from Thomas Worthington this year and Ewing attends school there.It initially was reported that Marburger was not wearing a seat belt.

Knox said Marburger was wearing his lap belt but had taken off the shoulder harness portion of the belt and put it behind him.Both Chakroff and Ewing were wearing their selt belts properly, Knox said.The Worthington community has rallied around the Marburger family.

On Monday night, at least 100 people came to Thomas Worthington High School for a prayer service."There was not a dry eye," said Rachel Shannon in an e-mail to The Dispatch.Tonight, another prayer service on behalf of Marburger and his family drew about 70 people to the All Saints Lutheran Church in Worthington.Shannon, who graduated with Marburger, said she has known him since they were 5 and that he was a popular guy who was one of the "liveliest people in our class.""He was a funny, funny person," Shannon said.Madeleine Smith also was in the Class of 2009 and said she felt lucky to be one of Marburger's friends."He definitely lit up a room," Smith said.Marburger was planning to attend the University of Toledo in the [email protected]
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