FANWOOD — Kathryn M. Schurtz, the daughter of a former Fanwood councilwoman, and her fiancé were killed in a crash on Route 78 in Pennsylvania while driving to their wedding in Pittsburgh.

Schurtz, 35, and Joseph D. Kearney, who were to be married on Saturday, were rear ended Wednesday in Berks County by a tractor trailer that was unable to stop, according to Pennsylvania State Police. The collision caused a chain-reaction crash that involved five trucks, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

The couple's vehicle and the truck that hit them caught fire, according to police.

The highway was closed for more than eight hours for cleanup and investigation of the wreck.

Fanwood borough posted its condolences in a Facebook post on Saturday.

"Our hearts go out to former Fanwood Councilwoman Karen Schurtz, who lost her daughter and future son-in-law in a car accident on their way to their wedding this past week. Here's Kathryn Schurtz's obituary. We are so very sorry," the message read.

Kearney's aunt Mary Kay Heinle posted a photo of the couple on her Facebook page and said her life was "changed tragically" by the crash.

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

Shurtz's viewing is Monday at Immaculate Heart of Mary R.C. Church from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., according to her obituary. Her funeral is Tuesday at the church.

Shurtz grew up in Fanwood and graduated Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains in 2001. She earned degrees from George Washington University and Notre Dame, according to her obituary. She was the head of platform partnerships for Oracle Data Cloud in New York City and had been living in Jersey City.

Her family asked for donations to the Kathryn M. Schurtz Scholarship Fund at Union Catholic High School in lieu of flowers.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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