TOLEDO, Ohio –
Jacob Brunner, 36, of Toledo, was killed in an automobile accident immediately after pulling out of a Starbucks location in his hometown. Although tragic, the news would not normally go viral nationally, except that in this case, Brunner was the person who broke the “pay it forward” chain at the drive-thru window.
“We had 117 cars come through, and every single one of them ‘paid it forward’ by purchasing the coffee for the car behind them,” said Starbucks manager Kris Froth. “The first car of the day came through, paid for their coffee, and then paid for the person behind them as well, just as a kind gesture. When we informed that second car what happened, they offered to pay for the car behind them, and so on, all day. It went on for 8 hours like that, actually. Then Mr. Brunner came along.”
Froth says that when his employee, Jane Moyer, 19, told him that the person in front of him had paid for his coffee, and asked if he wanted to “pay it forward” by purchasing coffee for the next car, Brunner laughed.
“‘Fuck no, that’s retarded’ is what Mr. Brunner said when I told him about paying it forward,” said Moyer. “He said it was dumb, and it wasn’t paying forward anything, it was just paying a ‘little more or a little less’ for your own coffee, based upon the order of the person behind you, and that’s not how paying it forward worked. He took his free coffee and drove off. Then we heard the crash.”
According to police reports, Brunner pulled out of the Starbucks, located on North Rd., and when trying to cross into the turning lane, was struck by a semi-truck. He was killed instantly and reported deceased by a coroner at the scene.
“I guess it just goes to show you that you can never, ever break the chain,” said Froth. “Also, our Starbucks location has a sale on Grande coffees this week. Only $1.99, no coupon needed.”