Grandmother of Man Killed in Allentown Car Explosion Believes Blast Was an Accident - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Grandmother of Man Killed in Allentown Car Explosion Believes Blast Was an Accident

“They are judging him without knowing him. He was a very loving father,” Kathleen Pond said. “He would never have put his son intentionally in any kind of harm.”

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Grandmother of Victim in Car Explosion Speaks Out

    With the Allentown car explosion under investigation for the fourth day, NBC10 talks to the woman who lost her grandson and great grandson in the blast.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018)

    What to Know

    • The grandmother and great grandmother of two of the three people killed in the Allentown car blast is speaking out.

    • Kathleen Pond does not believe the explosion that killed her grandson and great grandson was intentional. She believes i was an accident.

    • Pond described her grandson as a loving father who would never intentionally put his son in harm's way.

    As the investigation of a car explosion that killed a father, his 2-year-old son and his friend in Allentown continues, the grandmother of one of the victims is defending her grandson as well as sharing her own theory regarding what happened.

    "I do want answers. We all want answers," Kathleen Pond said. "That's probably the most important thing."

    Pond's grandson, Jacob Schmoyer, 26, her great grandson, Jonathan Schmoyer, 2, and Jacob's friend David Hallman, 66, were all killed in the explosion Saturday night.

    The deadly blast rocked the 700 block of West Turner Street in Allentown and shocked both witnesses and residents, several of whom described seeing body parts litter the street.

    Three cars were removed from the scene, including the one that received the brunt of the blast, officials said.

    Officials processed the crime scene but the investigation is ongoing. ATF officials sent materials down to their lab in Maryland and expect to get the results back Friday. Those results could help determine what exactly happened.

    Pond believes the blast was accidental.

    “If they were sitting there and talking about something, him and his friend Dave, and the car was idling and gas was going, it’s very conceivable to me,” she said. “It’s not unlikely because it’s happened that exhaust and gas can blow up a car.”

    Investigators initially stated they believe someone targeted and intentionally blew up the car. Schmoyer's family refuted those claims however.

    “He was a very loving father,” Pond said. “He would never have put his son intentionally in any kind of harm.”

    Pond told NBC10 her son had an interest in fireworks and mechanics. He also worked as a carpet cleaner and often used cleaning chemicals.

    "The interest in building computers, building phones, technology," she said. "He did like chemistry. He did like math."

    Resurfaced comments from Jacob Schmoyer's Facebook page in 2010 have caused some to speculate on social media. The comments include threats and talk of combining chemicals. Pond said she doesn't expect outsiders to understand her grandson's sense of humor.

    "He had a wacky sense of humor sometimes but we understood it because it was more of an intellectual humor," she said.

    Candles and stuffed animals were left for Jacob and Jonathan outside their home. Family members said it's been difficult for them to grieve due to the comments on social media.

    "It's tough for a lot of reasons," Pond said. "Not just their deaths but the way they died. The things I'm seeing and reading."

    No arrests have been made as of Tuesday. Officials continue to investigate.

    Jacob Schmoyer, 26, and his 2-year-old son, Jonathan, were among three people killed in a car blast in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Saturday. A third person, David Halman (not pictured), was also killed.
    Photo credit: Family Photo