New Parents Testify At Hearing For Man Accused In Liberty Bridge Texting & Driving Crash

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The case against a man accused of texting while driving and causing a crash on the Liberty Bridge is moving forward.

The crash shut down the bridge for hours, and now we are learning more about the lasting impact of the collision.

Brandon and Maureen Ciampaglia had become new parents on April 1, 2017. A few days later, on April 4, they were driving their son home from the hospital.

At Richard Hauschel’s preliminary hearing, Brandon testified that he remembers nothing that happened on the Liberty Bridge. Maureen said she remembers feeling the impact, Good Samaritans at their window, and seeing her husband cut out of their car.

As the case against Richard Hauschel II proceeds to criminal court, the big question is whether he was texting while driving. The 32-year-old from Brownsville, in Fayette County, is accused of aggravated assault by vehicle.

Police said Hauschel was driving toward the city and accelerated into the wrong lane when exiting the Liberty Tubes. Police said Hauschel hit the Ciampaglia family head-on.

According to police, the first 911 call was at 2:37 p.m. Phone records show Hauschel sent two texts and received one text at 2:33 p.m.

The exact time of the crash is unknown. The phone records establish the four-minute time lapse between the last text Hauschel received and when the first 911 call was made.

Brandon and Maureen Ciampaglia testified about their injuries. Brandon suffered spinal and rib fractures. Maureen had a sternum fracture, shattered collar bones and internal bleeding.

Their 4-day-old son, had a skull fracture, cracked ribs and a liver laceration. Maureen said bleeding on his brain also caused him to have seizures. The baby must take anti-seizure medication for at least the first year of his life.

Hauschel is out on bond. His next court date will be his formal arraignment is Nov. 14, 2017.

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