Lehigh Valley

Allentown car explosion: What we know

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Investigators are hoping they can get an Allentown street back to normal Wednesday after having roads blocked for days following Saturday night's car explosion.

Officials released the names of the three people killed in the explosion, and said there is no further threat to the public, but many questions remain.

Here's what we do and don't know as of Wednesday morning:

What:

  • A car exploded around 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Turner and Seventh streets
  • Police, the ATF, FBI and other officials swarmed the area
  • Some nearby residents sheltered in place and others were evacuated
  • Officials announced Sunday three males were killed in the blast

Who:

  • The coroner on Monday named the people killed: Jacob Schmoyer, 26; his son Jonathan Schmoyer, 2; his friend David Hallman, 66
  • All three died from traumatic injuries. The manner of their deaths has not yet been determined
  • Hallman is listed as living on North Hall Street, about one block from where the explosion occurred
  • The ATF says Hallman and Schmoyer were friends, and both were at the scene purposefully when the explosion happened
  • Hallman's dog, Skippy, was with him at the time of the explosion and survived, his family told 69 News. Skippy needed medical attention but will be taken care of by Hallman's son
  • Officials have not commented on why the two men, with the 2-year-old, were meeting at that spot, and what happened before the blast

David Hallman (left), Jacob Schmoyer and son Jonathan Schmoyer

Investigation:

  • Investigators initially blocked off a large area around the explosion, then later reopened all roads except Turner Street between Seventh and Eighth streets
  • Officials have not said who owned the car that blew up
  • The main car in the blast and two others nearby were towed away to gather evidence
  • The ATF said the energy released from the explosion was extensive
  • Officials collected debris from streets, yards, sides of buildings and rooftops in the area
  • The debris was sent to a lab in Maryland to see what materials may have caused the explosion
  • The lab results of testing on the explosive material won't be available until later in the week, likely Thursday or Friday, the ATF said
  • Authorities are conducting interviews with nearby residents, witnesses and family members of the victims
  • The ATF expects to clear the scene sometime Tuesday
  • The 700 block of Turner Street and a section of Hall Street will have to be sanitized before it can be reopened to traffic. Roads are expected to reopen late Wednesday

Accident or intentional?

  • Investigators have not said whether the blast was an accidental or intentional
  • The ATF said an explosion of that size could have been accidental or a device
  • Schmoyer's grandmother said Monday it must have been accidental, while Lehigh County DA Jim Martin said Sunday it was a "criminal incident"
  • Martin also said Sunday he was confident the person responsible was probably killed in the incident
  • After the initial investigation, officials said it was an isolated incident and there was no threat to the public


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