Well-known trainer killed in I-94 crash in Romulus

Car engulfed in flames on westbound I-94 near Middlebelt Road


ROMULUS, Mich. – A well-known trainer was killed early Sunday morning in a fiery crash on westbound I-94 near Middlebelt Road in Romulus.

Police said when they arrived at the crash scene, the car was engulfed in flames with Freddie Butler still inside.

Personal trainer Armond Harris, of JABS GYM Eastern Market, spent a lot of time exercising with Butler.

“He just reignited a fuel in me, just when it came to fitness," Harris said. "He was always positive."

Harris said Butler’s positive attitude was contagious. Butler's mindset brought people to JABS GYM Eastern Market day in and day out. Harris said that's the reason the business is expanding, and they celebrated at his home.

“A few friends said, 'Hey, we’re going to head out,'" Harris said. "It was probably around 2:30, and then I said, 'See you guys later.' I even have him on camera at my house."

Harris said it was the last time he saw his friend.

On Monday, people across Metro Detroit mourned the loss of Butler. Execution Coach Keyon Clinton said he wants to honor his friend in the same way they met.

“He actually started the 1 Percent Better Fitness boot camp with me about a year and a half ago," Clinton said. "I’m challenging everybody in the city. If you've ever known Fred, ever met Fred, or ever heard of the good things Fred has done, come out and show Fred that we love him just like a brother."

“He was one of the few people in the fitness world who really cared about you,” Harris said.

Family members said Butler's funeral is scheduled for Saturday.

The Fitness Boot Camp to honor Butler will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at 1500 Atwater Street in Detroit.

The expansion of JABS GYM is scheduled for Oct. 1.

About the Author: