Friends and family are mourning a New Jersey couple who were on the way to their wedding in Pennsylvania when they tragically lost their lives in a fiery, chain-reaction car crash, WNBC reports.
Kathryn Schurtz, 35, and her fiance Joseph Kearney, 42, were driving westbound on Interstate 78 on the way to Pittsburgh for their upcoming nuptials. The accident occurred in Berks County, Pennsylvania, at around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14.
Traffic was heavy on the road due to an earlier crash, and a tractor-trailer that was also traveling westbound was unable to slow down for the traffic ahead. The tractor-trailer struck the vehicle that the couple was traveling in, which then struck the back of another tractor-trailer in front of them, setting off a “chain-reaction crash” that had three more tractor-trailers involved.
The couple’s truck — as well as two of the tractor-trailers — caught fire, and Schurtz and Kearney were killed. WNBC reported that three others were injured as a result of the accident.
“Our lives changed tragically last Thursday. Our nephew Joseph Kearney and his beautiful fiancee Kate Schurtz were killed in an automobile accident on their way home for their wedding to be held that day,” one relative, Mary Heinle, wrote on Facebook according to People. “Our memories will help carry us through. They were truly the brightest shining lights snuffed out way too soon.”
A New Jersey couple died in a car crash on the way to their wedding https://t.co/TcDWSdR8id
— INSIDER (@thisisinsider) November 19, 2018
Kearney was from Pittsburgh, and Schurtz grew up in Fanwood, New Jersey, her mother being former councilwoman Karen Schurtz, People reported. Kathryn was head of platform partnerships for Oracle Data Cloud in New York City, and was living in Jersey City, New Jersey. According to her obituary, she will be remembered “for her voracious appetite for reading, love of cooking, and trailblazing new adventures with Joseph.”
Laura Allio, a friend and classmate of Kathryn at Notre Dame, wrote on Facebook that she was a “beautiful soul.” Despite not remaining in touch with Kathryn Schurtz after school, Allio remembered her as a “positive impact” whom she only has “great memories” with.
“Never forget just how fragile life is,” Allio wrote at the end of her post. “Her family was to be celebrating her wedding, not her and her fiance’s death this weekend.”
Her funeral will be held on Tuesday, November 20.
The tragedy comes just weeks after another tragic event involving newlyweds. Will Byler and Bailee Ackerman Byler, a newly married couple from Texas, died in a helicopter crash shortly after taking off from their wedding on Saturday, November 3.