MOUNT POCONO — Homicide by vehicle charges were filed Wednesday against a man from Monroe County accused of causing a crash that killed his girlfriend.
Police say Kirk Randler of Long Pond was speeding when he crashed his car, killing Katrina Strausser.
It was less than two months ago when Randler and Strausser were leaving Pocono Mountain East’s graduation ceremony near Mount Pocono when their car crashed into another SUV.
Strausser was killed and now her boyfriend has been charged with homicide.
Police shut down part of Route 611 for hours in late June after the wreck.
Police have now charged Kirk Randler of Long Pond with homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle, and involuntary manslaughter.
Randler was behind the wheel when his Camaro crashed head on into an SUV. His girlfriend Katrina Strausser died from injuries suffered during the crash. Four others were also hurt.
Many people who often drive that part of Route 611 recalled the deadly crash.
“Somebody had a bad accident. They were going too fast. It was a tragedy,” said Jim Shea of Tobyhanna Township.
According to court papers, police who reconstructed the accident calculated Randler was driving between 81 and 91 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. He allegedly tried to pass in a no-passing zone, and then hit another car head-on at 86 miles per hour.
Kevin Vitulano said he drives Route 611 in Mount Pocono frequently and driving above the speed limit is all too common.
“[People] absolutely go too fast. I see a lot of people going over the speed limit and I’m with my little girl, so I try to stay with the speed limit, but sometimes I even go over,” Vitulano said.
According to court papers, someone inside Randler’s car told police they saw him driving 110 miles per hour before the crash.
“It’s terrible. It’s sad and it shouldn’t have happened if they obeyed the speed laws.”
Adam Cucinello works at a car wash right on Route 611 and said he often sees people speeding up on these straightaways, but said 110 miles an hour is just unheard of.
“That’s not even legal,” Cucinello said.
Randler was arraigned by video conference Wednesday morning from a state prison in Luzerne County.
According to court records, Randler has prior convictions for theft, burglary, and criminal conspiracy charges and was currently enrolled in a county program for other crimes when this crash happened.
He is locked up on $250,000 bail.