Sexiest Truck Competition

The prize couldn’t have gone to a more deserving winner

by Published: Dec 4, 2012

Pictured from lef to right, Royce Breight, Kristin Otte, Kasey, Dawn, Korey, and Kreigh Freeland. Photo by Tori Thomas | Photographer

The Torch started an Internet com­pe­ti­tion in October to deter­mine who had the “sex­i­est truck” in the greater Big Rapids area.

With over 100 sub­mis­sions and an audi­ence base of over 650 peo­ple, the com­pe­ti­tion was a mas­sive success.

The win­ner of the 2012 Sexiest Truck Competition is Kelby Freeland. His friend Trevor entered his truck into the com­pe­ti­tion because he couldn’t—Kelby passed away on Oct. 19, 2012. 22-year-old Kelby Freeland was pro­nounced dead at the scene after a roll-over crash ejected him from the car he was dri­ving, accord­ing to MLive​.com. Freeland was pick­ing up two friends who didn’t want to take the risk dri­ving. He was being the respon­si­ble friend and doing a favor.

Freeland’s father Kreigh Freeland, mother Dawn Freeland, broth­ers Kasey and Korey Freeland, for­mer girl­friend and Ferris stu­dent Kristin Otte who is a junior in health care admin­is­tra­tion and close friend Royce Breight made the long drive from Grant to Big Rapids to claim his prize and keep his truck’s legacy alive.

“That truck was his baby,” Freeland’s mother said.

Freeland’s truck was a 1993 Chevy Silverado that he bought at the age of 16 with money he had saved from work­ing on his family’s farm. His fam­ily esti­mates that he put nearly $10,000 of his own money into repairs, cus­tom work and enhance­ments. His truck had a six-inch sus­pen­sion lift and a three-inch body lift with cus­tom exhaust and paint and hours of blood, sweat and tears.

Freeland’s fam­ily and friends described him as an avid Chevy enthu­si­ast and said his love for his truck never out-shadowed the love he had for his friends.

Freeland was described as some­one who was always will­ing to help and a fierce pro­tec­tor of the ones he loved. Freeland’s younger brother Kasey said, “If I didn’t like some­thing, he made me like it.”

His friend and for­mer girl­friend described him as “a big ol’ griz­zly bear with a soft heart.” Freeland was will­ing to go the extra mile for any­one and was always will­ing to help. Freeland’s infec­tious per­son­al­ity is some­thing that no one could seem to escape.

“You’d meet him, and in five min­utes you’d be great friends,” Royce said.

Freeland had attended Baker College and was a few cred­its shy of grad­u­at­ing as a diesel mechanic. He would have started work­ing for DTE in Detroit the week after his life was trag­i­cally taken.

“He was always try­ing to help and look out for oth­ers,” younger brother Korey said.

Though he may not be with us, his truck, his com­mu­nity, his fam­ily and friends are a tes­ta­ment to the qual­ity of his char­ac­ter and the moral­ity of his being. Freeland will be remem­bered for hav­ing “The Sexiest Truck” in this life and the next.

A mem­ber of the Kent City Baptist Church, Freeland had a close rela­tion­ship with God. In his truck’s glove box he kept a copy of the Bible bound in hunter orange. His friends and fam­ily said he often spoke of God and his faith to others.

“He’s look­ing down on this with a big grin,” his mother Dawn said. “He would love every minute of this.”