GPS causes chain reaction crash killing man leaving his surprise birthday party

Posted at 6:30 PM, Sep 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-28 02:02:12-04

One person is dead stemming from a two-car crash in Glendale.

Officers were called to Northern and 67th avenues on Saturday after receiving reports of a serious car accident.

According to Glendale Police, two cars were traveling side-by-side when they got into a side-swipe collision. One of the cars veered off the road and hit a power pole.

All three people in that car were hospitalized, a police spokesperson said. The front seat passenger, identified as 70-year-old Franklin Martin, Jr., died of his injuries and the driver is in serious condition. A second passenger is being treated for minor injuries.

It's unknown if alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident. 

Loved ones are asking for financial support to help bury the man. They say the man was on his drive home after a attending his own surprise birthday party. 

Jenipher Stowe was driving and said she swerved to avoid another car that side-swiped them. Glendale police told her fiancé Douglas Martin, who was in the backseat, that the other driver was from out of town and turned abruptly following GPS directions.

"it said turn here, he didn't look before he turned," Martin said. 

Stowe is still recovering in the hospital from several broken bones and lacerations from the seat belt but she said the real pain is the loss of her father-in-law.

"We looked forward to having the last few years with him and now it's gone, it's over," Stowe sad through tears.

Martin said they are thankful to have the final memory of his father from the birthday party where Frank Martin Jr. was surrounded by family members at his favorite restaurant.

"He was glowing the entire time we were there," Martine said. "He was laughing and smiling." 

He said the other driver was ticketed for an unsafe lane change but intends to pursue criminal charges.