car crash

Suspect in DUI Crash That Killed Teens Claimed He Was Distracted by Text: Officials

A Chester County man charged with DUI in a crash that killed teen siblings last month allegedly told police he was reading a text message moments before the accident.

Thomas Muir, 25, told police he was distracted at the time of the crash because he was reading a text message on his phone, according to an affidavit.

Muir was ordered to stand trial after waiving a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Chester County.
Muir is charged with driving under the influence and homicide by vehicle in the Feb. 14 crash that killed 19-year-old Miles Hannagan and his sister 16-year-old Charlotte Hannagan.

Authorities said Muir's pickup truck slammed into a minivan on Route 100 in Uwchlan Township, killing the teens and injuring their parents as well as two other family members. The force of the collision tore the minivan open. Miles and Charlotte were ejected from the van even though they were wearing seatbelts. They were both found on the shoulder of the road.

Charlotte was an 11th grade student at Downingtown High School West. Miles was a graduate of Downingtown High as well as a second year commuting student at West Chester University majoring in chemistry-biology.

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Several witnesses told police they spotted Muir driving erratically and at a high rate of speed swerving and making unsafe passing movements before the crash. They also said his truck struck the minivan from the rear at a high speed, causing the accident.

Muir was not injured in the accident. The affidavit states responding police officers noticed Muir’s eyes were bloodshot, his speech was slurred and he moved with an unsteady gait while smelling like alcohol.

Police asked Muir if he had been drinking and he told them no, according to investigators. Officials confirmed he had been drinking after he submitted to a sobriety test however, police said. After being asked again if he had been drinking, Muir allegedly told police he had consumed several alcoholic beverages earlier in the day.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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