Jolene LaBar, 31 and her unborn child

Crash victim Jolene LaBar a new bride, expectant mother

Published: August 21, 2008
By Douglas B. Brill
The Express-Times

Jolene LaBar's family and friends spent Wednesday sharing stories at her parents' home, trying to accept what killed the bubbly newlywed who spent her last week telling people she was pregnant.

The 31-year-old Washington Township, N.J., resident was on her way home from work when she died in Tuesday afternoon's double-fatal crash on Route 22. A man fleeing police drove the wrong way on the highway and struck her car.
The family is frustrated with what started the chase. Police said Keith W. Messinger of St. Petersburg, Fla., who also died in the crash, was wanted for a theft. He was believed to have stolen a vacuum cleaner, according to a state police spokesman.

"It's not understandable how three cop cars can chase one guy the wrong way over a vacuum cleaner," said Alla Weber, 30, of Hackettstown, LaBar's friend since they met at Warren Hills Regional High School. "It's $200. Let it go. You just lost a precious life that's more valuable than anyone can imagine."