Teen charged with homicide, DUI in death of Limerick jogger

March 22, 2013 11:43:15 AM PDT
Police have a made an arrest in a Montgomery County accident that killed a female jogger earlier this month.

Montgomery County detectives and Limerick police have charged 18-year-old Justin Jackson with Homicide By Vehicle While Under the Influence, Homicide By Vehicle, DUI, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and related traffic offenses.

Jackson surrendered to authorities at the District Justice's office on Thursday afternoon.

"This is an adult charge. He faces adult consequences on this," Montgomery County First Assistant Attorney District Kevin Steele said.

The accident occurred on March 4 at approximately 2:45 p.m. on Lewis Road in the Royersford section of Limerick Township.

Police were called to the scene where they found the fatal victim and a crashed vehicle.

According to authorities, the victim, 40-year-old Merinda Thompson of Royersford, was jogging along Lewis Road against traffic in the southbound shoulder.

At that time, police say Jackson was driving a green Ford Focus hatchback northbound when he crossed over the southbound lane, ran another car off the road, and then careened into the shoulder area of the road striking Thompson from behind.

The impact threw Thompson to a nearby parking lot.

Police say Jackson continued driving off the roadway in the opposite direction of traffic and struck a utility pole.

"He just feels terrible about it," Jackson's attorney Frank Genovse said.

Jackson was taken to Paoli Hospital where police obtained blood for analysis.

After obtaining search warrants, police discovered a marijuana pipe and marijuana inside Jackson's car in the area of the driver's seat.

A search warrant executed on the Jackson's cell phone revealed that the he had been texting while driving.

"He was texting another friend who lives near his mother saying he was going to be at his mom's house in five minutes. It was nothing of any real importance just telling his buddy he was going to be around in about five," Genovse said.

Lab analysis of the Jackson's blood revealed the presence of marijuana in the his system, police say.

"We have two children who are going to be raised without a mother, a husband without his wife, parents without a daughter because he chose to drive a car after smoking dope and texting and not paying attention to the roadway," Steele said.

Jackson's bail was set at $100,000.