Police: Chambersburg truck driver was streaming a NFL game when he caused a fatal accident on I-81
CUMBERLAND COUNTY — A 34-year-old Chambersburg truck driver was allegedly watching a football game when he caused a fatal accident on Interstate 81 last year, according to State Police.
Kevin M. Souriyavong has been charged with felony homicide by vehicle and five summary offenses for his role in the accident that killed John Baum Jr., 56, of Walnut Bottom, on Oct. 16, 2017 in Dickinson Township.
Police say Souriyavong’s truck struck the back of Baum’s 2005 Harley-Davidson motorcycle just south of the Plainfield exit on I-81 South. A passenger on the motorcycle was injured in the crash as well, according to police.
Souriyavong allegedly told police he was distracted prior to the crash, but said he had been looking at the construction of a new warehouse on the right side of the road.
But after obtaining dash cam footage from Souriyavong’s truck, police determined that Souriyavong was watching a football game on a smart phone or other portable electronic device when his truck stuck Baum’s motorcycle, according to the criminal complaint.
Police say the footage included “audio of what sounds like the commentary of a football game that can be heard clearly in the background,” and that “the reflection of what appears to be a smart phone or portable electronic device” is visible in the truck’s windshield.
According to police, the game appears to be the Oct. 15 matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Police say the crash occurred just as the Chiefs recovered an onside kick, because the announcers’ excited voices can be heard on the dash cam’s audio.
A further search of Souriyavong’s phone revealed he had sent 22 text messages and received 23 texts during his round-trip run from Shippensburg to Mehoopany in northeastern Pennsylvania. The texts discussed placing bets on various football games, including the Steelers game, and police say the tone of the messages clearly indicated Souriyavong had a vested interest in the outcome, the criminal complaint states.