California

Fresno truck driver wanted in collision that killed couple driving to their wedding

Texting while driving: Manifesto online

Did you know that when you send or receive a text you take your eyes off the road for 5 seconds? At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded.
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Did you know that when you send or receive a text you take your eyes off the road for 5 seconds? At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded.

Law enforcement in Pennsylvania believe a Fresno truck driver, who was distracted on a cell phone, caused a fiery crash that killed a couple heading to their wedding..

The incident occurred Nov. 14 on Interstate 78 of Berks County, Penn., when an 18-wheeler truck driven by Jaspreet Singh Chahal of Fresno crashed into an SUV carrying driver Joseph D. Kearney and his fiancé, Kathryn Schurtz both of Jersey City, N.J.

Kearney, 42, and Schutz, 35 were on their way to their Pittsburgh wedding, but died in the collision.

The couple had slowed down significantly on the highway because they were approaching a work zone — and because of a different crash that occurred about two miles ahead of them.

But Chahal’s big rig traveling behind the couple failed to stop, and pushed their SUV into the rear of another truck. The three vehicles were engulfed flames after the crash, according to state police as reported by the Reading Eagle newspaper.

After a seven-month investigation, an arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for Chahal.

The 24-year-old faces vehicular homicide charges, plus careless driving, speeding, driving while using a cell phone and other related traffic counts.

According to court documents examined by the Reading Eagle, state police said Chahal was distracted by a cellphone conversation. Just prior to the crash, he’d passed a state trooper who had his emergency lights to warn approaching motorists of stopped traffic ahead for road work.

Pennlive.com reports that a trooper said soon after the crash that Chahal’s sister called Berks County 911 to report that she was talking with her brother on the phone when she heard a commotion and was disconnected.

As of Wednesday, Chahal was not yet in custody.

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