Teen Driver on Drugs & Texting When He Killed Jogger: D.A.

Police say the young driver was under the influence of marijuana and they found drugs and paraphernalia inside his car

A teenage driver was arrested for the car crash that killed a jogger in Royersford earlier this month.

As the Montgomery County District Attorney's office announced the arrest of Justin Matthew Jackson Thursday, they also revealed the driver was under the influence of marijuana and was texting at the time of the crash.

Detectives say Merinda Thompson, of Royersford, was jogging along North Lewis Road on March 4 when Jackson's car crossed over lanes, and into the shoulder of the road, hitting her from behind and throwing her into a nearby parking lot.

"He comes over the roadway, onto the shoulder area, hits her from behind, catapults her into a parking lot and kills her. This is after he has driven one fellow off the road who had to evade him because he was coming into his lane," said Asst. District Attorney Kevin Steele.

Jackson,18, didn't stop after the crash, according to police, and kept driving in the opposite direction of traffic until he struck a utility pole. When investigators arrived on the scene, Jackson was taken to Paoli Hospital for a blood sample.

Police say a marijuana pipe and marijuana was discovered inside his car. Detectives were able to prove Jackson was texting during the crash after checking his cell phone records.

"We're dealing with a young kid, as you said he's a high school senior. I think he maybe had his license maybe 7-8 months prior to the accident happened," said Defense attorney Frank Genovese.

Jackson is a senior at Springford High School. He was texting a friend to say he was heading home when he lost control of his car, says Genovese.

Jackson is charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, homicide by vehicle, DUI, recklessly endangering another person, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Thompson, 38, was a mother of two.

Jackson's attorney says the teen has been in grief counseling since the accident.

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