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Midstate man gets 6- to 23-month term, avoids jail in texting while driving crash

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 28, 2016 1:30 PM
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(Lancaster) -- A central Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to a minimum term of six months house arrest in a fatal accident last year in which authorities said he was texting while driving.

A Lancaster County judge on Wednesday imposed a six- to 23-month sentence on 25-year-old Phong Chadd Pham of Lancaster but spared him a jail sentence on the minimum term.

Pham pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the July 2015 crash in Strasburg Township that killed 78-year-old Eva Kunkle. Prosecutors said phone records indicated that Pham had been text-messaging immediately before the accident.

Pham tearfully apologized to Kunkle's relatives, saying "My whole life I've always tried to do things right." The judge urged him to become an advocate and talk to young people about the dangers of cellphone distraction.

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