Pottstown teen charged in road death of Limerick woman

Justin M.Jackson
Justin M.Jackson
Posted: March 23, 2013

A Pottstown teen was arrested Thursday after allegedly killing a jogger this month while texting behind the wheel and driving under the influence of drugs, according to authorities.

Justin Matthew Jackson, 18, was texting and had marijuana in his system on March 4 when he swerved his car into the opposite lane and struck Merinda Thompson, 40, according to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

Thompson, a mother of two from Limerick Township, was "catapulted" into a parking lot while Jackson continued driving on the wrong side of the road until his car struck a utility pole, according to a release from Ferman's office. Police responded around 2:45 p.m., the release said, and found Thompson dead on arrival.

Marijuana and a marijuana pipe were found in Jackson's car, and laboratory analysis of his blood showed traces of marijuana, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Jackson's attorney, Francis Genovese, said that Jackson had been cooperative with authorities and that there were no surprises among the charges levied Thursday, which included homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He said Jackson "feels obviously responsible and awful."

Thompson was a senior software engineer for Linear Acoustic in Lancaster, where she had worked for the last four years, sometimes in the office and sometimes from home.

She lived in Royersford with her husband, Donald, and sons Christian, 6, and Michael, 10.

Attempts to reach Thompson's family on Thursday were unsuccessful.


Contact Chris Palmer at 609-217-8305, cpalmer@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @cs_palmer.

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