Grandmother of victim in deadly car explosion anxiously awaiting investigation results

National / World
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David Hallman, Jacob Schmoyer and his 2-year-old son JJ were killed in a car explosion in Pennsylvania over the weekend.

Loved ones are trying to make sense of what happened. 

A tragic accident — that’s what Kathleen Pond calls Saturday night’s car explosion that killed her 26-year-old grandson and 2-year-old great grandson.

“He loved his son so I can’t believe that he would put his son in harm’s way,” said Kathleen Pond. 

Pond, describing her grandson Jacob Schmoyer as a man who loved life and his family.

She also says he was incredibly curious — almost to a fault.​​​​​​​

“I used to say to him curiosity killed the cat and in this case he’s not coming back,” said Pond.

Pond says Jacob was always interested in fixing things and understanding how they worked. He also had an interest in fireworks.​​​​​​​

“If he was doing anything, it was not intentional,” said Pond. “It was strictly curiosity and probably some bad judgment.”

Pond says she and the family are anxiously awaiting the results of the investigation.

But if she had to guess, she believes the explosion was a combination of an old vehicle with some problems, and whatever was inside the car, possibly cleaning supplies from Jacob’s job.​​​​​​​

“If I hear that it was a problem with something in the car, such as he had chemicals for cleaning and hadn’t taken them out, and there was a problem with the car, my heart will be a little lighter,” said Pond.

Pond says Jacob was always offering his friends rides — which likely explains why his friend, 66-year-old David Hallman was also killed in the explosion.

As she waits for investigators to learn more, Pond says she wants people to know and remember her grandson as a kind, loving man.​​​​​​​

“I don’t believe he would harm anybody,” said Pond.

Pond says Jacob and his son — who they called JJ — lived in Allentown, Pennsylvania with baby JJ’s mother.

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