Man pleads guilty, sentenced for crash that killed a Penn State student in State College

A former Penn State student pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to nearly seven years of supervision for causing a fatal crash that killed a woman as she jogged in State College.

Ahmed Alqubaisi, 20, of the United Arab Emirates, pleaded guilty to one felony count of accidents involving death for the September killing of Lovisa Arnesson-Cronhamre. Seven charges were dropped.

Centre County President Judge Jonathan Grine sentenced Alqubaisi to a maximum of 23 1/2 months in the county jail, followed by five years of probation. Due to time served, he is expected to be immediately paroled, but not freed.

He has been in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement since March 4 and may be deported. His student visa required him to be enrolled at a university, but he was suspended from Penn State and a prosecutor alleged he did not attend classes at the Harrisburg Area Community College though he indicated he would.

Centre County Deputy District Attorney Megan McGoron told Grine the mitigated plea deal was supported by Arnesson-Cronhamre’s family. The deal, she said, was made to “honor Lovisa’s memory.”

McGoron described Arnesson-Cronhamre’s death as “extremely tragic” and said it “wrecked this family.” None of her three relatives who appeared at the hearing via Zoom offered a statement before Alqubaisi’s sentence was handed down.

“Lovisa was an intelligent, lovely young woman, whose life was taken far too soon,” McGoron wrote in a statement to the Centre Daily Times. “The sentence allows the family to move forward and focus on cherishing Lovisa’s memory. We wanted to honor the family’s wishes in reaching this agreement.”

Alqubaisi said little during the hearing. He offered only perfunctory answers to questions from Grine and did not make a statement before receiving his sentence. Defense lawyer Steve Trialonas declined immediate comment.

Alqubaisi was accused of speeding in September when he slammed a 2024 BMW M3 into Arnesson-Cronhamre as she jogged along the 200 block of East Park Avenue.

Her injuries, borough police wrote in an affidavit of probable cause, included a brain bleed, broken neck, shattered right arm and broken foot. She was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center before being flown by medical helicopter to UPMC Altoona, where she died.

Alqubaisi was neither experienced nor properly licensed, police wrote.

Grine set bail at $3 million, one of the highest totals in Centre County history. McGoron said she would not seek forfeiture of the money as part of the plea deal.

Arnesson-Cronhamre’s family had opposed setting bail. Her mother — in what proved to be her only public statements in the case — told Grine her family was left to cope with “immense loss and sorrow.”

Arnesson-Cronhamre, 25, of Sweden, was a Penn State doctoral student studying architectural engineering. She was also an alumna of the University of Glasgow, where she graduated with a degree in astrophysics and was active in the university’s weightlifting club.

Maja Cronhamre described her daughter during a September bail hearing as determined, intelligent, humble, caring and loving. She had hopes of winning a Nobel Prize.

“Our Lovisa: Deeply loved, profoundly missed by me, her father, her brother and her two sisters. Her fiance, Matthew, who now has to live a life without Lovisa,” Cronhamre said. “By countless other relatives and friends, all because of a careless man utterly devoid of respect for other’s lives chose to so casually end Lovisa’s.”

She is survived by two sisters and a brother. Alqubaisi’s family paid $21,000 to cover the cost of her funeral. Family attorney Roy Lisko declined comment.