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Mourning Mike, seeking closure

Mike Jacoby

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It’s been more than 19 months since Charles Jacoby lost his son in a car accident, and his daily emotions include grief, pain and anguish.

“It’s tough,” Jacoby said. “My kid’s gone forever.”

At the same time, Jacoby looks for closure and accountability.

The driver of the car in which Mike Jacoby was a passenger was charged with, among other things, Homicide by Vehicle while DUI and accident involving death with no license.

Back-seat passengers Mike Jacoby and Sebastian Plummer both died in the accident, near Bustleton and Grant avenues.

The case, though, remains in the judicial system, with no trial date.

Since the accident, Charles Jacoby has marked what would have been his son’s 19th and 20th birthdays and tried to celebrate holidays without him.

“Two birthdays, two Christmases, one hearing waived, nine continuances,” Jacoby said. “It’s taking way too long.”

Dylan Urbanowski, now 21 but 19 at the time of the accident, was arrested after the two-car crash on Grant Avenue, just west of Bustleton Avenue, on June 1, 2020. Urbanowski, of Willow Grove, is represented by attorney Joseph Kelly.

Assistant District Attorney Brendan Flynn is assigned to the case, with regular status listings in Criminal Justice Center Courtroom 504. Common Pleas Court Judge Lillian Ransom is hearing the case, with the next pre-trial conference scheduled for March 2.

Though the Philadelphia court system often moves glacially, that is of little comfort to Jacoby.

“Mike didn’t get a continuance. Sebastian didn’t get a continuance,” he said.

Police said Urbanowski was driving a 2007 Honda west on Grant Avenue at a high rate of speed at 10:35 p.m. when he lost control of his vehicle, which slid sideways and crossed over into eastbound lanes, where it was struck by a 2019 Acura heading in the opposite direction.

Jacoby, 18, of Fox Chase, died three days later. He was set to graduate from Northeast High and play offensive line on the Millersville football team. His dad was proud of him for improving his grades to set him up for a successful college experience.

Plummer, of Morrell Park, died of a brain injury on June 6 at Abington Hospital, three days after his 19th birthday.

“Sebastian was a good kid, too,” Charles Jacoby said.

Two other passengers were injured, but survived. Charles Jacoby said the five people in the car had left a high school graduation party in Pine Valley. He said his 6-foot-5, 290-pound son had a negligible blood-alcohol content.

Jacoby remains in contact with Karen Bush, Plummer’s mom, who is seeking improvements to the intersection of Bustleton and Grant. There are civil cases, along with the criminal case.

“You have somebody to go through it with,” Jacoby said of his conversations with Bush.

While Mike Jacoby was in the hospital, his father was heartened by the dozens of the teenager’s friends who gathered outside.

After his son’s death, Jacoby, married with three daughters, said it was difficult unpacking his belongings that were to go with him to Millersville.

The Jacobys are a very close family, with Mike and his sisters attending each other’s games and activities.

“They really miss him a lot,” their dad said.

Jacoby said family counseling has helped some. He comes regularly to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery to visit his son, sitting on a chair near a gravestone surrounded by candles, flowers and plaques.

The Jacobys and Bush are also looking forward to a mural of Mike and Sebastian planned for Ramp Playground. ••

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