Pennsylvania: John Pietrafitta explains family’s sorrow at loss of Merinda Rose Thompson; Justin Jackson heads to prison for DWI death

Backup_of_Justin Matthew Jackson pot kills too graphic
From Times-Herald

Montgomery County, Penn. – 2014-04-05 —
COURTHOUSE — Clinging to a photograph of his beloved daughter, John Pietrafitta’s eyes welled with tears as he remembered the woman who had a “heart bigger than life.”
“She was always willing to help someone in need. Merinda was a very kind person who had a heart bigger than life. Merinda loved life,” said Pietrafitta, choking back tears as he reflected on the life of Merinda Rose Thompson, the 40-year-old Royersford woman who was struck and killed by a drug-impaired teen driver as she jogged along North Lewis Road in Limerick on March 4, 2013. “Our daughter was our first child and a very unique, loving person.”
Pietrafitta, 62, proudly showed Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill the framed photograph of Merinda that he carried with him to court, where the young woman’s killer, Justin Matthew Jackson, was sentenced to prison on Friday.
“Just like her mother, a beautiful woman,” said Pietrafitta, his voice quivering with emotion, as he stared at the photo. “The pain in my wife’s and my eyes is evident, every morning and night … tells the whole story. We often find it difficult some days to get out of bed.”
Pietrafitta said Merinda was “a great mother who loved her children very much,” referring to his grandchildren, two boys, ages 10 and 7. “She was involved with all of their ….MORE