JOHNSTOWN – Police said a western Pennsylvania teen was driving under the influence and texting when he allegedly caused a crash that killed two people last year.
Nineteen-year-old Austin Molinich, of Nanty Glo, apologized to the victims’ family, but otherwise said nothing after surrendering Monday on charges including homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter.
Richland Township police said phone records show Molinich was texting before he crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a car driven by 71-year-old Donald Evans Sr., of Conemaugh Township on June 11, 2012. Evans and his 19-year-old granddaughter, Cassandra Singer, died.
Defense attorney Thomas Dickey denied Molinich was texting or drinking, and said the teen was distracted when a bird hit his windshield.
Police acknowledged Molinich wasn’t legally drunk, but charged him because he was a minor with some alcohol in his system.