Truck driver who was watching NFL game when he caused deadly crash will serve up to 23 months in prison

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. — A Franklin County truck driver who police said was watching an NFL game when he caused a deadly crash on Interstate 81 in October 2017 was sentenced Tuesday to three to 23 months in prison and five years probation, court documents show.

Kevin Souriyavong, 35, pleaded guilty earlier that day to involuntary manslaughter and simple assault. As part of his plea, a number of charges were dismissed, including homicide by vehicle and aggravated assault by vehicle, according to court documents.

Souriyavong was traveling on I-81 South on October 16, 2017 when his truck hit the back of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle just south of the Plainfield exit in Dickinson Township, Cumberland County. The driver, 56-year-old John Baum, of Walnut Bottom, was killed. A passenger on the motorcycle was injured.

The truck driver told police after the crash that he was distracted but it was because he was looking at construction of a new warehouse. Though, police determined via dash cam footage that Souriyavong was actually watching a football game on a smart phone or other portable electronic device when his truck struck the motorcycle, the criminal complaint said.

Police noted that 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.

Police also wrote in the criminal complaint that Souriyavong had sent and received text messages during his round-trip run from Shippensburg to Mehoopany in northeastern Pennsylvania that discussed placing bet on various football games, including the Pittsburgh Steelers – Kansas City Chiefs matchup which appeared to be the game he was watching during the deadly crash.

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