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Family of victims killed in Pittsburgh-area crash upset over possible plea deal for driver

Son of people killed in crash upset over possible plea deal for driver
Son of people killed in crash upset over possible plea deal for driver 03:14

KITTANNING, Pa. (KDKA) — The son of the two people killed in a Kiski Township crash in July 2022 wanted a trial for the driver at the center of the case.

It was set to start on July 8, but he said he was blindsided after opening a letter on Monday from the victim coordinator with the Armstrong County District Attorney's Office saying there's a plea deal on the table. 

"Angry, saddened that it's a failure," John Kalbaugh said. "It shouldn't work this way at all. It hurts. It's like a slap in the face."

His parents, Tony and Kim Stasko, died in a crash on Route 56 in Kiski Township on July 3, 2022. Police said behind the wheel of the other car was Michael Flynn. He ran a stop sign on Balsinger Road and crashed into the Staskos, police said.

Kalbaugh said he is livid after receiving the letter indicating that the trial he was expecting and waiting for is not happening.   

"It was hard to believe that all those charges, two lives taken and it dwindled down to this," Kalbaugh said. 

Flynn was originally charged with two counts each of homicide by vehicle, accidents involving death or personal injury, and aggravated assault by vehicle, plus one count of duties at stop sign. But now he is allowed to plead guilty to two homicide by vehicle charges. Before Monday, Kalbaugh said he did not hear from the district attorney's office. 

After the deadly crash in July 2022, investigators took Flynn into custody on DUI suspicion. They say he refused a blood test for alcohol or drugs. Under state law, his driver's license should have been suspended for at least one year for refusing the test. But Flynn continued to drive, and according to court paperwork, he was arrested in February 2023 for DUI after he rear-ended a vehicle on the Parkway East.

According to court records, Flynn pleaded guilty earlier this year to two DUI counts and five summaries. He got two to four days in jail, six months probation and a $500 fine. 

Kalbaugh and his family started a Facebook page and showed up at Flynn's court hearings. 

"It's really upsetting to know the justice system could fail people like that," he said.

KDKA-TV emailed Armstrong County District Attorney Katie Charlton, but she did not respond on Monday. She is out of the office until next week. KDKA-TV also called the district attorney's office, and an employee said there was no comment at this time. 

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