Ex-Hill intern loses family in plane crash

David Jacober, a former Capitol Hill intern with a promising future in politics, lost his parents and one of his brothers late last month in a plane crash that killed six people.

His parents, Jeffrey and Karen, and his 15-year-old brother, Eric, were returning from a vacation in Florida when their plane came down in central Pennsylvania. Also traveling with them were Gregg and Dawn Weingeroff and their 10-year-son, Leland.

David Jacober recently left the Hill for a temp job with a law firm in Washington, D.C. Before leaving the Hill, he was an intern in Rep. Eliot Engel’s (D-N.Y.) office. 

Jacober worked closely with Press Secretary Gary Meltz, whom he had followed to Engel’s office after they had worked together at the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Jacober was known around the office as energetic and outgoing.

“I think the world of him,” said Meltz, who called Jacober as soon as he found out. “I am really upset this happened.”

At the DNC, Jacober lined up Democrats to talk politics on radio shows. Jacober was adept at getting some lesser-known Democrats on air.

Meltz said, “This was really important because it left the more popular Democrats for other programs, thereby increasing the amount of airtime for all Democrats on the dial,” Meltz said.

Jacober also interned in Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s (D-R.I.) office in the spring of last year. Jacober’s parents, who were active in politics on the local, state and national level and well-known in Rhode Island, were friends of the congressman’s.

Although Jacober did the menial work of an intern — answering phones, doing paperwork and attending hearings — Kennedy Chief of Staff Sean Richardson said, “Jacober is one of those people who you know is going to be successful. When you meet him, you know he is genuine. He is very engaging and he loves politics.” Kennedy was unable to attend the funeral, but Richardson went as a personal friend and as a representative of the office.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Richardson said. “With a tragedy of that magnitude so many emotions run through you at the same time. … It is just overwhelming, I can’t imagine what it was like.”

His parents had been on their way to see their son Michael play lacrosse at Penn State University when their plane came down for unknown reasons. Jacober drove up to Penn State to be with his brother as soon as he heard the news.

The funeral was held March 30 and was attended by almost 2,500 people, according to The Providence Journal.

“I was sickened by the news of what happened to David and his family,” Engel said. “No one should ever have to go through a tragedy like that. David did an excellent job in my office, and his work was appreciated. He is well-liked and has good prospects for a career working in politics if that is what he pursues.” Engel’s and Kennedy’s offices have sent him cards, along with donations and flowers.

An online guest book has been posted for friends and family of the deceased: www.legacy.com/centredaily/Guestbook.aspPage=Guestbook&PersonId=3345795