Kittanning vigil planned for mother in fatal collision
By Brigid Beatty
Published: Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
KITTANNING — It's been almost two years to the day since 38-year-old Staci Rosborough Haslett died from injuries suffered in a 2010 one-vehicle crash — a crash that eventually left her three children motherless and in which her husband was later implicated and sentenced on a charge of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence.
Now that the court proceedings are over, Staci's family plans to hold a candlelight ceremony at 6 p.m. Sunday in the Kittanning Riverfront Park to celebrate and honor her life.
“We want to remember the good things,” said Staci's mother, Pamela McCullough. “She was a loving mother. She was a great friend and a wonderful daughter.”
McCullough said the sentencing of Keith Robert Haslett, 29, in June helped the family move on.
“We waited till it was all over,” she said.
The family wants all those who knew and loved Staci to join them at the ceremony to share their memories of her.
McCullough said there are many people from the Kittanning area who knew Staci but never knew what happened to her.
She was a 1990 graduate of Lenape Technical School and worked at Fantastic Sams hair salon in East Franklin before opening her own business, Staci's Angel Haire Salon, in Kittanning.
Staci's legal name at the time of her death was Staci Leigh Rosborough Haslett, but the last name etched on her gravestone marking her Dec. 9, 2011 death reads Rosborough-Shaffer.
It is how the family wishes her to be remembered, McCullough said.
Staci's children, Bethanie, Scottie and Tristan Shaffer — now 16, 18 and 19 — are from her previous marriage to Scott Shaffer, McCullough said.
She said Staci and Haslett had only been married for one year before the September 2010 crash in Rayburn left Staci a quadriplegic for the remaining 15 months of her life.
McCullough said that Staci lived out her remaining life in Sugar Creek Rest, Sugarcreek Township, hooked up to a ventilator and paralyzed from the chest down. She did not remember the night of the accident.
“She liked to dance and loved music,” McCullough said. “She knew she would never dance again.”
McCullough recalled how involved Staci had been in her children's lives, how she spent so much time supporting them in their sports and activities.
“(Staci's) daughter, Bethanie, was excited about having something for her mom,” McCullough said, referring to Sunday's candlelight service.
The Rev. Joyce Dix-Weiers of Mt. Union Lutheran Church in Plumcreek will be officiating.
According to court records, the crash that led to Staci's death happened at about 2:15 a.m. along Route 85 near Stonehouse Road on Sept. 5, 2010.
The affidavit notes that Haslett told state police he and Staci had left a bar and had been arguing when he lost control of their Chevrolet Trailblazer. The vehicle hit a telephone pole, traveled down a small slope and rolled over before it struck a tree.
Staci was flown from the scene to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Haslett was initially charged with aggravated assault by a vehicle while driving under the influence.
When Staci died, that charge was changed (in January 2012) to vehicular homicide while driving under the influence.
Haslett pleaded guilty to the charge in March and was sentenced by President Judge Kenneth Valasek in June to serve 36 to 72 months in a state prison.
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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