A Lancaster man was sentenced Wednesday in Lancaster County Court for text-messaging at the wheel prior to a fatal crash in July 2015 in Strasburg Township.
Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker sentenced 25-year-old Phong Chadd Pham to the following conditions:
- 6-23 months of incarceration (6-month minimum can be served on house arrest)
- 3 years of probation
- 200 hours of community service
- Restitution of $6,700 for funeral costs
Pham previously pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, a misdemeanor, and three summary citations, including prohibited text-based communications.
On July 16, Pham was driving on Beaver Valley Pike (Route 222) when he veered into opposing traffic, striking 79-year-old Eva Kunkle’s vehicle. Kunkle died at the scene.
In court Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Christine L. Wilson, lead prosecutor, read a statement written by Kunkle’s daughter on the devastation caused by the crash.
Pham apologized to Kunkle’s relatives whom were spectators in court.
Pham, while traveling south, failed to negotiate a turn in the road when his Acura sedan veered across the center line. Kunkle’s Mercury sedan was struck head-on.
Pham was seriously injured in the crash.
An examination of Pham’s phone showed text-messaging activity happened prior to the collision.
“It is reasonable to conclude that (Pham) … was distracted from driving by texting,” a Pennsylvania State Police trooper reported.
Pennsylvania State Police Trooper James Trunfio filed charges.
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