New Jersey couple killed on the way to their own wedding

A New Jersey couple were killed in a car crash just before their wedding day. Kathryn M. Schurtz and her fiancé, Joseph D. Kearney, were driving to their wedding venue in Pittsburgh on Wednesday when a tractor-trailer hit their car and killed them both. 

“She will be remembered for her voracious appetite for reading, love of cooking, and trailblazing new adventures with Joseph,” Schurtz’s obituary in the Star-Ledger read. 

The city of Fanwood, N.J., where Schurtz grew up and her mom formerly served as a city councilwoman, announced her death on Facebook over the weekend. The 35-year-old lived in Jersey City while working at Oracle Data Cloud in New York City. She is survived by her parents, two sisters and a 3-month-old nephew. 

Before the couple were identified, Lehighvalleylive.com reported that a chain-reaction crash on Interstate 78 in Pennsylvania left two people dead and three injured, shutting down part of the highway for more than 12 hours. A tractor-trailer reportedly hit their vehicle when it couldn’t slow down before reaching the traffic ahead.

Kearney was from Pittsburgh, where their wedding was set to take place last week. His aunt posted on Facebook on Sunday that the family’s “lives changed tragically” when they heard the news. 

“Our memories will help carry us through. They were truly the brightest shining lights snuffed out way too soon,” she wrote. 

Schurtz’s family will hold visitation services at a local church in New Jersey on Monday and Tuesday and asked that friends and family make donations to the Kathryn M. Schurtz Scholarship Fund at Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, N.J. — Schurtz’s alma mater — in lieu of sending flowers.

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