CA Trucker Pleads Guilty to Killing a Wedding-Bound Couple

READING, PA – A former truck driver pleaded guilty for killing a couple in a freeway crash that happened in 2018 in Pennsylvania.

The driver, Jaspreet Chahal, 26, from Fresno, CA, was sentenced to 11 and a half to 23 months in prison and two years of probation after release at the Wednesday court hearing in Berks Country Court, PA.

Chahal was sentenced for a November 2018 crash that took place on I-78 in Windsor Township, Pennsylvania, in which Joseph Kerney and Kathryn Schurtz, who were driving from New Jersey to Pittsburgh for their wedding, were killed.

Joseph Kerney (left) and Kathryn Schurtz (right)
Joseph Kerney (left) and Kathryn Schurtz (right)

The incident happened when Chahal slammed into a line of stopped vehicles while talking on his phone. Official police reports state that Chahal was not aware of the vehicles ahead of him because he was distracted by the conversation.

Five vehicles were damaged as a result of the crash – one passenger car (an SUV) and four trucks. The couple was in the car at the time of the accident. From the impact, the car was crushed between the trucks and burst into flames.

firefighters on i78 extinguishing the fire from accident
The aftermath of the crash. Photo by Reading Eagle: Bill Uhrich

Three more people were injured from the crash alongside the couple who were killed.

Chahal pleaded guilty to two counts of homicide by vehicle, recklessly endangering another person, and other offenses.

He will serve the almost two-year sentence in the Berks County Prison, Pennsylvania.