SCRANTON -- A driver who went the wrong way on the interstate has been sentenced to prison for the death of another driver
Prosecutors say that Adam Kovaleski of Carbondale was almost four times the legal limit in 2015 when he got on Interstate 81 in Scranton going the wrong way. After a five mile trip, he collided with another car killing Timothy Kunis of Milford.
Kovaleski learned Thursday he will spend at last three years in prison for the crash.
Kovaleski is a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard who has served tours in Iraq and Kuwait. In court, a former commander called him "the best" soldier.
But, he struggled when he came home.
Kovaleski admitted to a drinking problem and PTSD factors that could have led to the deadly crash on October 15, 2015.
Kovaleski killed Timothy Kunis of Milford in a crash along Interstate 81 in Dunmore. Kovaleski was going the wrong way on the highway.
"If you're finding yourself in a situation where you need help, please ask for help. Let's try to get the services and the treatment that you need before we get to a critical stage such as this, before someone's life is lost," said Lackawanna County District Attorney Shane Scanlon.
Kovaleski pleaded guilty to homicide by motor vehicle while DUI earlier this year, saying in court he was eager to take responsibility.
"He could have dragged this out for another year and a half on appeals, but he just told me flat out, 'I'm pleading guilty, I'm not putting that family through this anymore,'" said his attorney Paul Walker.
Kovaleski faces a mandatory three years in prison. The judge added an additional three months because he was going the wrong way.
If the case had gone to trial, Kovaleski's attorney says he would argue that poor signage at the Moosic Street off-ramp in Scranton contributed to the crash.
"We had an expert report that talked about the signage out there," Walker said. "I drive that route every day going to work, the signage there is lousy. There's an enormous concrete pillar there that blocks the signage. PennDOT has changed the signage since the date of this incident."
Kovaleski was sent right to prison after his sentencing. He will serve a minimum of three years and three months and a maximum of eight years.