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The original item was published from 12/28/2016 11:20:00 AM to 12/28/2016 2:45:18 PM.

News Flash

District Attorney

Posted on: December 28, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Driver Sentenced for Text-Messaging Prior to Fatal Crash in Strasburg Township

Phong C. Pham

A Lancaster man was sentenced Wednesday in Lancaster County Court for text-messaging at the wheel prior to a fatal crash in July 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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041;; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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