Lancaster County man sentenced for texting before a fatal crash

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Phong Pham

STRASBURG TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa –A Lancaster County man was sentenced Wednesday for texting prior to a deadly crash in Strasburg Township in July  2016.

Phong Chadd Pham, 25, had previously plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and three other summary citations.

A Lancaster County judge sentenced Pham to 6-23 months of incarceration, but the minimum 6-month term can be served on house arrest.  Pham was also ordered to three years probation, 200 hours of community service and ordered him to pay $6,700 in restitution for funeral costs.

The crash happened when Pham’s vehicle swerved into oncoming traffic along Beaver Valley Pike (Route 222) on July 16, prosecutor said. Pham hit 79-year-old Eva Kunkle’s vehicle head-on. Kunkle died at the scene.  Pham was seriously injured in the crash.

An examination of Pham’s phone showed text-messaging activity happened prior to the collision, prosecutors said.

“It is reasonable to conclude that (Pham) … was distracted from driving by texting,” a Pennsylvania State Police trooper reported.