Vehicular Homicide Charges Filed in Royersford Jogger Death

The teenage driver faces multiple charges stemming from a fatal accident on Lewis Road on March 4.

Update 8:25 p.m.: This story has been updated with details from the affidavit of probable cause. Click here to visit the updated story. 


18-year-old Justin Jackson of Pottstown was charged today with homicide by vehicle in the death of Merinda Thompson on March 4.

Court records show that, in addition to homicide by vehicle, Jackson has been charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance, unsworn falsification to police, reckless endangerment, possession of marijuana, driving on the left side of the road, texting while driving, reckless driving and careless driving. 

The accident occurred in the afternoon of March 4 on Lewis Road between Benner Road and Country Club Road. Thompson was struck and killed as she was jogging along Lewis Road.  

Charges were filed today in Magisterial District Judge Walter Gadzicki's court. 

Elliot Peters March 22, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Maybe you can enlighten me on some questions I had with Jamie. Where is your proof? How do you know there is one? If it is a man or woman? I am fine with you saying it is a belief, because I do not look down on your belief. What is annoying is that you try to put your beliefs on people who don't want to hear it and try to say its a fact. Again, your deflections about stories and theoretical sayings still don't provide any facts. So all you are defending is your beliefs. Not the real issue of whether it is a fact or not.
Rick Hammer March 22, 2013 at 08:25 PM
You know Elliot, there are some things you just cant explain. Things are not just black and white all the time. You just have to believe and hope your soul doesn't get burnt to a crisp in your next life.
Elliot Peters March 22, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Who do you know has been to hell and knows it exists? Why do you live in a world with blinders on? That's why this topic is a never ending battle. You have no answer, just a deflection. You can not be happy with it being a belief, you have to try to sell it like its a real thing. There is a reason why people around the world are leaving the church. Because they are becoming a more educated group and realizing that these beliefs are ridiculous. I guess the loss of membership is black and white also? Seems clear to me
H8TR March 23, 2013 at 12:00 AM
He is poop. Just a big fat Turd.
Working Mom March 23, 2013 at 03:28 AM
This poor boy, will be paying in an adult jail and have to live with this for the rest of his life, His family has to live with what he has done. There will be two children growing up without their mother. He also missed another driver, who witnessed the accident - and went back to see if he could help - has impacted his life too, there was a bus full of children who passed the scene immediately after this happened - they too will be living this scene in their heads for a while too. Nothing can be done to turn back the clock and its everyones heartache. Hopefully, the families will all be able to get help, overcome their grief and focus on the future. It only takes a split second for so many peoples lives to change.
vegban March 23, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Independent Voter, it is his right under the constitution to not hand over his phone without a warrant (4th and 5th)
vegban March 23, 2013 at 03:48 PM
So did he admit to smoking beforehand or are they just going by what the lab analysis says? There is no way to determine when the cannabis was taken into his system like there is for alcohol. The API is lipophilic and stays in the systems for a period of days, weeks if the user is chronically taking the substance.
Kathy Bender March 23, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Let me tell you something. You do NOT "overcome" your grief. You learn to live with it inside of you because you have no other choice. You can't get over it as some people think that you should after some unspecified period of time. You just walk around with it in your heart and on your mind ALL the time but you just learn to not ALWAYS talk about it because people just do not understand that unless they have gone through it themselves
Kathy Bender March 23, 2013 at 05:24 PM
So what you're saying is that he is on a "constant" high?
Daniel P. Jacobs March 23, 2013 at 06:25 PM
He may be on a constant high, or at least constantly affected to some degree - maybe not. Depends on his habit. I really wish there was a better way to measure because THC can stay in the system for up to a month. If he had smoked days earlier it may not have affected his driving, but would show up in his system. Who knows?... But I digress - opinions are like a** - h***s, everybody's got one - and mine is that I'd bet the real culprit here that made the kid cause this tragedy is texting. So what do the phone records show - they ought to be able to show if the texting was happening at the time of the crash. The report says it was, somebody else here (a friend in the know?) says it wasn't. So which is it? Christmas day a few years ago there was a head-on on Gravel Pike in Zieglersville that left a young girl dead, her victim in the other lane maimed. To engage in this practice of texting you have to take YOUR EYES OFF the road. IMO, this makes it more dangerous than weed, alcohol, and verbal phone usage as well. (NOT that I'm condoning any of them). When you sit in the left turn lane and wonder why traffic isn't moving after the arrow comes, and the driver of the lead car has their head down with their arms at their sides - wonder what they're doing?! This is an occurrence most of us see every day, and it needs to be eradicated.
Daniel P. Jacobs March 23, 2013 at 07:08 PM
BTW- my comments were in response to the first article read, I just saw an updated version with the details that show lab results indicating THC usage within two hours of the incident, ( didn't realize that could be narrowed to that degree) and looks like texting at the same time or within seconds - guess that's hard to prove if the records round off to the minute, and the crash took but seconds. The comments by some (at Royersford Patch ) where the belief seems to be that "everybody has texted while driving" is a bit of an eye-opener - that's a real interesting perspective and can only come from someone that grew up with this technology. Scary.
Jennifer March 24, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Please someone find me weed that will last two hours!!
Jim Pittsley March 24, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Just in the Northeast, head south where they have humanity and compassion, and they are nice!
john handley April 01, 2013 at 06:10 AM
He who is without sin shall cast the first stone
john handley April 01, 2013 at 06:12 AM
I wonder how many out there are for the legalization of pot
john handley April 01, 2013 at 06:15 AM
I wonder how many out there have never caused an accident or had a traffic violation endangering the public
john handley April 01, 2013 at 06:18 AM
thanks Dan, and people that think cops don't lie never spoke to one
john handley April 01, 2013 at 06:24 AM
and i quess none of you never texted while driving or had that phone held to your ear with one hand on the wheel also illegal, because it's unsafe and how many of us were just plain lucky we didn' t cause a crash
john handley April 01, 2013 at 06:27 AM
the police and the media like paint a person in the worst possible light because they the public will eat it right up, like what's going on here
john handley April 01, 2013 at 06:29 AM
how many will say lewis rd. is a good place to jog ?
john handley April 01, 2013 at 01:22 PM
hasn't society taught our young this kind of behavior ?
john handley April 01, 2013 at 01:24 PM
so if we just rid society of this person, it will then be a beautiful place !
john handley April 01, 2013 at 01:26 PM
I wonder how many of you will be checking your cell phones today while your driving but will say it's OK to just check it !
Bob April 01, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Mr Handley: It's funny Idiot's like yourself are the first one's to make derogatory comments about the Police. People like yourself are the first one's to scream for the Police if you happen to become a victim of a crime,"Typical Hypocrite".
john handley April 01, 2013 at 02:26 PM
I guess we haven't any pot smokers out there, or no reckless drivers, or no cell phone users, no drinkers, maybe we should execute him after a short trial, how many of you believe in WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND ?
john handley April 01, 2013 at 02:30 PM
some of you seemed so appalled that your own neighborhood has produced such a monster, Dou you know where your own kids are ?
john handley April 01, 2013 at 02:38 PM
I get a laugh about the TAKING YOUR EYES OFF THE ROAD BIT I wonder if this person uses a GPS ?
john handley April 01, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Doesn't anybody think a big part of the problem is cars ?
john handley April 01, 2013 at 02:46 PM
we sure have o lot of safety wonks out there, i wonder how many of them pass on the right, exit from the left, think it's ok to break the speed limit, flash their lights to warn others about speed traps ?
john handley April 01, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Dan, with all due respect you didn't give the punchline about the A-holes ; that is they all STINK !


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