Manhunt launched for truck driver who killed couple headed to their wedding when he rammed his 18-wheeler into their SUV
A manhunt has been launched by the authorities for 24-year-old Jaspreet Singh Chahal, a truck driver allegedly responsible for the death of Joseph Kearney, 42, and Kathryn Schurtz, 35. The couple died after the driver's vehicle rammed into their car while they were heading to their wedding. He was driving an 18 wheeler truck and the couple was in an SUV when the truck hit them from the rear end. The accident occurred last year and after a 7-month long investigation, the warrant was issued on Wednesday, according to a report in the Reading Eagle.
The driver of the truck is said to have stayed at the scene but did not answer any questions. He has been charged with vehicular homicide. The authorities have not released any photographs of the man and they are yet to issue a statement about why he's been avoiding capture for so long. "We have to find him," Berks County District Attorney John Adams said, "That is our main goal at this point. I've seen many horrific facts from accidents. In this case, we certainly believe he never braked before impacting the vehicles ahead of him, which makes...the facts of this case extremely egregious," he said.
The couple were from New Jersey and were driving to their wedding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when the tragic incident happened. The couple's car was found ablaze when the authorities arrived. The impact of the crash pushed the car under the rear end of another tractor-trailer causing a chain reaction of impacts involving a total of five trucks. Along with the car, two of the trucks were on fire.
According to reports, about an hour after the incident occurred, the driver's sister had called a 911 as she was concerned about her brother after her call disconnected and she heard a racket on the other end. She also said that his electronic log book had also suddenly disconnected.
The phone call was the reason why Chahal failed to recognize that traffic was stopped ahead of him, because of an active work zone, despite a clear sight line and no adverse weather conditions, court documents have revealed. He was distracted and didn't see two signs and an electronic message board that issued the warning, the troopers have said in the documents.
According to the law, drivers of commercial vehicles are prohibited from holding a mobile telephone while driving and may only dial up a call by pressing a single button on a hands-free phone.
The couple did not survive the injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene. As for the others involved in the accident, they suffered injuries that have not been specified. Chahal, who is from Fresno has been charged with homicide by vehicle, reckless driving, and related offenses.