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Driver who hit teens in Spring Hill had killed Pasco friend at 16

In 2002 Steven Moschella was sent to prison at 18 after violating his probation in a manslaughter case by using cocaine.

Times files (2002) 

In 2002 Steven Moschella was sent to prison at 18 after violating his probation in a manslaughter case by using cocaine.

SPRING HILL — Two teenage girls came to the shoulder of County Line Road on Saturday night and walked into the path of a man whose life was defined by a tragic accident in 2000.

The girls' names appear in Florida Highway Patrol reports as Kacie Barns, 15, of Spring Hill and Jayce Grines, 14, of Land O'Lakes. However, no records show people with those name spellings living in either area.

At 9 p.m. Saturday, the girls were struck by a pickup driven by Steven Moschella, 30, of New Port Richey. Both girls were seriously injured and flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. They were in stable condition Monday, an FHP spokesman said. Their parents could not be reached.

Moschella and his passenger, Stacey Marie Barton, 29, of St. Petersburg weren't hurt. Moschella could not be reached.

Moschella first met tragedy when he was just 16. On Jan. 19, 2000, his best friend Teddy Niziol brought a stolen gun to school. As Niziol pulled out of the parking lot of Ridgewood High School, minutes after school let out, he passed the gun to Moschella, sitting behind him. Moschella, not knowing the gun was loaded, pulled the trigger, firing through the front seat. Niziol died in the parking lot. The judge in the case was merciful. Convicted of manslaughter by culpable negligence, Moschella served a short jail sentence and six years' probation. But a random drug test later sent him to prison, where, he said in an interview with the Times in 2003, he changed for the better. Arrest records show that he slipped back into cocaine use as late as 2010 and was in jail twice. His license was suspended on drug charges. It was reinstated last year. He has not been charged in Saturday's accident.

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report.

Driver who hit teens in Spring Hill had killed Pasco friend at 16 09/30/13 [Last modified: Monday, September 30, 2013 10:09pm]
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