WILKES-BARRE – A elderly couple from Nanticoke were driving home from a senior citizens center in August 2011 when they were killed in a vehicle crash in Hanover Township.
Since then, their grandson Jonathan Skwirut said Friday, “It’s been hell for our family.”
Remorse, sadness and family issues revolve around the deaths of Edward Skwirut, 89, and his wife, Dorothy, 86, who died after their 2006 Chevrolet Impala was struck by a truck, driven by Kevin Allen of Hanover Township, that was hauling 960 pounds of concrete mix.
“It’s torn us apart as a family,” Jonathan Skwirut said.
Allen, 36, of Martin Street, was sentenced Friday to 10 to 23 months in county prison and was incarcerated on two counts of homicide by motor vehicle and related driving offenses Friday.
Allen pleaded guilty to the charges in July.
“I’m sorry,” Allen said through sobs to the Skwirut family Friday.
Police allege Allen was traveling 73 mph in a 45-mph zone on the Sans Souci Parkway on Aug. 4, 2011, when he veered into oncoming traffic. Allen was driving a 2002 Chevrolet Xtreme truck transporting a dozen 80-pound bags of concrete mix at the time of the crash.
Deputy District Attorney Alexis Falvello said Allen has had a driving record involving speeding and driving too closely and requested some sort of prison sentence for Allen.
Allen’s attorney, Basil Russin, said Friday that his client was in the process of constructing a patio for his wife and four children when the crash occurred, and that Allen has been remorseful since he first met Russin.
Russin said his client was injured in the crash and now walks with a cane due to injuries he sustained.
Russin said Allen has undergone surgeries repairing broken bones but will need to undergo additional surgery for a problem with his heel.
Russin requested that Allen be sentenced to a term of house arrest, but Judge Fred Pierantoni said he felt a prison term was appropriate.
“Your suffering fails in comparison to the Skwirut family,” Pierantoni said. “This was a tragic incident.”
Pierantoni said Allen must complete 40 hours of community service, where he’d like Allen to go to school to tell students about how their lives could change in a matter of seconds.
Pierantoni said Allen must also undergo mental health and drug and alcohol evaluations and comply with any recommended treatment.