A 19-year-old Chester County driver has been charged with causing the death of two teenage passengers in a two-vehicle crash in December.

Zachary J. McGehrin of West Caln was arraigned Thursday on charges that include homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, speeding, and other traffic offenses. He was committed to Chester County Prison after failing to post $1 million bail, according to court records.

McGehrin was driving a Pontiac Sunfire east on West Kings Highway near Kylies Road at 10:01 a.m. Dec. 2 when it crossed the center lane, colliding with a trash truck. His passengers - Victoria Lynne Garvin, 17, and John Joseph Sherman Jr., 18, both of West Caln - were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The driver of the Charles R. Blosenski trash truck, Gene Bennett, 61, was not injured, police said. McGehrin was treated for serious injuries at Reading Hospital and Medical Center.

West Caln Police Chief Curt A. Martinez said the accident was particularly troubling because it was another example of teens' failure to use seat belts.

He said he wished driver's education would be returned to its former prominence in high schools, many of which only offer it as an after-school elective.

Martinez said the county detectives assisted in the investigation, which took time because all of the evidence needed to be analyzed.

The chief said he had been working with the state Department of Transportation to have rumble strips and guard rails installed on Kings Highway, which is where a disproportionate number of crashes in West Caln have occurred.

District Judge Michael J. Cabry 3d scheduled a preliminary hearing for Friday.

Contact staff writer Kathleen Brady Shea at 610-696-3815 or kbrady@phillynews.com.