Megan Madeline Thomas: Murdered By Jacob J. Herbert of Susquehanna Pennsylvania Being Paroled
Megan's Story permission Given by Ed Lindsey
March 17,2006 Megan Madeline Thomas and her family were turning into New Milford Baptist Church in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. Jacob Herbert missed another family seconds before slamming into Megan's grandmother's mini-van! Megan's grandmother was knocked unconscious, her 84 year-old mother was standing outside the vehicle once it came to an abrupt stop. Screaming from the top of her lungs, while one of their two grandsons was being cradled in his great-grandmother's arms. Madeline was nowhere to be found. Megan's grandmother awoke moments later and could not get out of her driver door. Crawling across the driver's seat to the passenger seat she felt blood rolling down her forehead. Where was Megan? Scurrying around the vehicle she found Megan under their family mini-van, conscious but alert. Megan's was more concerned about wetting her pants than about what happened. Looking up they noticed, Jacob J. Herbert standing their for a brief moment staring at them. Quickly he jumped back into his vehicle and sped-off, leaving the entire family for dead. He was found the next morning with his blood alcohol content still pass the legal limit for the state of Pennsylvania. How could a person do this to a family?
Jacob J. Herbert was incarcerated and now has served only 5 years for the death of Megan Madeline Thomas. He will be released within 60 days for the murder of a 5-year old. The family has written to the parole board, attorney's have begged for him not to be released. The state says, they are to over-crowded and they have to let him go. Why? He left the scene of an accident and murdered someone's daughter, granddaughter, niece and friend. He was only given one year for each year that Megan was alive. What is wrong with our judicial system? Jacob Herbert will be walking-free within 60 days for a crime he committed. He has not had any remorse for what he did on March 17,2006; nor has he made any contact with the family to apologize for his wrong doing.
Ed Lindsey shared a letter with me, that he submitted to the parole board and the families voice has been left unheard. He has spent countless hours and submitted thousands of letters all across the United States including Congress and President Obama. To date nobody has listened. With alcohol being a multi-billion dollar industry nobody seems to care. Many of you have children, grandchildren and family members. If this article begins to hit your heartstrings, like it did mine please share this story with everyone you know. If we could cover every corner of Facebook or stop one person from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and driving, we could begin to change the laws. What would you do, if the last words your grandchild said to you were, " Grammy I can't breathe!?" Those words haunt Megan Madeline Thomas's grandmother until this day.
A Letter submitted to the Parole Board by Ed Lindsey
Re: Jacob J. Herbert
Inmate # : GW7847
To The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections: I have read your pre-release letter on the subject Jacob J. Herbert. First I would like to go into the details of this inmate. Mr. Herbert was drunk and driving on a secondary road in Susquehanna County. He just got thrown out of a bar in Lenox, Penna. a V.F.W.. He had a friend with him at that time, but for whatever reason his friend did not want to go with Mr. Herbert to another bar that Mr. Herbert wanted to visit and so the friend was dropped off at his home by Mr. Herbert. Mr. Herbert then proceeded on this secondary road to the next bar. Mr. Herbert passed another vehicle on this road at a great rate of speed, and the man that he passed had his children in with him, and he was taking them to South New Milford Baptist Church for an A.W.A.N.A. program. The man that Mr. Herbert passed pulled over to collect his thoughts because it was a close call. Mr. Herbert then at a great rate of speed slammed into the rear of the van that was beginning to turn into our churches driveway. In the van was my wife and she was driving, her mother whom was 84 years of age, 1 of my two grand-sons, and my only grand-daughter Megan Madeline Thomas. My wife was knocked unconscious and had a gaping wound in her head and it was freely bleeding. Her mother stood outside the van screaming holding my grand-son. She thought my wife was dead and she could not find her great grand-daughter Megan. My wife regained consciousness, and she could not open the driver’s side door to get out so she crawled across to go out the passenger side door. My wife found our grand-daughter underneath the van. She was alive and conscious and was speaking to my wife, as my wife held her in her arms on the bank waiting for help. Mr. Herbert got out of his vehicle after hitting them, and looked around at all that he created and jumped back in to his vehicle and sped off. Leaving them all for someone else’s problem. Megan did not have a bruise or a scratch on her face, her one leg though was badly mangled. Megan was more worried about soiling her pants, and told my wife that she was afraid that she went to the bathroom in them, because she was wet. The other grand-father who is Pastor Larry Thomas of South New Milford Baptist Church was notified and ran down the driveway. Megan spoke to him but he could not comprehend of what she was saying. The emergency crew arrived and Megan spoke her last words to my wife, before being taken away to an awaiting helicopter. “Grammy I Can Not Breathe.” Megan died in route to the hospital. Mr. Herbert was found the next morning after abandoning his vehicle because it was damaged too much to drive anymore. He was still over the legal limit of .08 and it now had been 8 to 9 hours after he struck the van. He was taken to get tests and went in front of a magistrate. The magistrate set his bond at $100,000.00 and sent him to jail to await sentencing.
Emotional Impact? How would I explain this to you, if you did not lose someone close to you. Let me start off by saying that my wife still can hear Megan’s last words to her of “ Grammy I Can Not Breathe.” How would you actually feel being in a hospital watching your wife being shattered as she is told that her grand-daughter is dead. How would you feel after getting rid of your wife’s pants because she asked you to, and then putting them into an orange containment bag because they were blood soaked? How would you feel standing over a sink, to wash your hands, watching your only grand-daughter’s blood going down the drain? How would you feel knowing this man was not captured yet? I retired to be with my 3 grand-children and to watch them grow, but now one of them is missing. On closing of Emotional Impact I would like to say this. Mr. Herbert made bail about 2 to 3 weeks after Megan’s homicide. The justice system told Marcy my daughter Megan’s mom that Mr. Herbert was driving without a license and he had no insurance on any vehicle and the vehicle that he was driving was a deceased member of his family. Pastor Thomas and I went to the courthouse in September or October to listen to his guilty pleas in front of the judge. Pastor and I listened to the judge and Mr. Herbert apparently did have a driver’s license but it was a O.L.L. license (Occupational Limited License) he received this license after applying for it in December 2005. Three months before he decided to get drunk and take a life. Mr. Herbert was released and his sentencing was for December 2006. My niece called me one night right after we went to hear Mr. Herbert’s plea of guilty. She left her message on my answering machine. She stopped at a diner on her way to work for a coffee. Mr. Herbert was there and he was quite obviously drunk and bragging that he just came from the North Forty apparently another bar. She called the police and waited for them to show. No one showed. I e-mailed the District Attorney because it was late at night and the response I got was this. All the police were out that night to a homicide and the first 24 hours are crucial on a homicide. Mr. Herbert when he initially went in front of the magistrate after being arrested was not told not to get drunk again, or to drink before his sentencing. The magistrate or the police did not inform the Department of Transportation that Mr. Herbert just took a life and he had on his possession the O.L.L. license so the license could be taken. The District Attorney did not have to do this but he contacted the State Police investigator to check on if he was drinking at the bar or not. Because his family told their attorney that Mr. Herbert was at home and did not go anywhere. The investigator went to the bar and found out that Mr. Herbert was at their bar drinking at the night in question. No one could verify to the investigator on how Mr. Herbert arrived to the bar called North Forty or if he was driving or not? After finding this out it was a concern of the court to move Mr. Herbert’s sentencing up to November 2006.
Physical Impact: My mother-in-law who was inside the van had whip lash. My wife had to have 8 or 9 staples placed in her head from the gaping wound and underwent counseling and yes she still has that scar on the top of her head.
Financial Impact? My wife had on jewelry at the hospital a necklace a bear with a diamond in it. Diamond ear rings. She thinks that they may have been on the hospital gown that was thrown out. These items we are not worried about. They were given to her by me on the arrival of my grand-sons births and no amount of money could replace what was taken away by Mr. Herbert.
Safety Issues? While your Psychologist’s tell you that Mr. Herbert is ready to immerge into our society because he has been a good man in jail. I ‘am afraid they are proven wrong. Mr. Herbert has not shown any remorse over what he has done. Not one word of an apology to any of our family members or to the court on his sentencing. And still no word from Mr. Herbert. You state in your letter that he may on request take a leave of absence of up to 7 days with family. My, what a wrong thing if this would happen, not only to his family, but other unsuspecting victim’s. My final thought is this on Drunk Driving. This is the only crime of homicide and murder that we hand them the weapon back ( The Car) with no questions asked. Attached is another letter that I sent to all of our Senator’s in Pennsylvania and I would like you to read it.
Megan's Story permission given by Ed Lindsey
Ed Lindsay will not stop until Megan's voice is heard. With Megan's parents and grandparents' together we can assist them with accomplishing their mission. Will you join us by sharing this with your Congressman? News Station? Facebook friends? Share his heart breaking story and take a stand tell our Country " Enough is Enough!" If we can chat for minutes on social sites, we can have Megan's voice heard.
Office of the Victim Advocate
1101 S. Front Street Suite 5200
Harrisburg, Pa. 17104
1-800-563-6399 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 1-800-563-6399end_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 1-800-563-6399
Take a moment to contact them and tell them inmate # GW7847 Jacob J. Herbert should not be released! If there phones are flooded, it could spare another family pain and suffering and keep him off the roads. I am doing my part, can you do yours?
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