Man facing murder charges in crash that killed family of 5
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man facing murder charges in the deaths of five family members killed in a head-on traffic crash admitted to police that he consumed alcohol and marijuana on the day of the horrific wreck, prosecutors said Thursday.
The five murder counts against Daniel Greis were announced by Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders shortly before the victims’ funeral in northern Kentucky.
Three of the victims were children. The family was killed last week after attending a parent-teacher conference at elementary schools the children attended in northern Kentucky.
Police investigators determined that Greis was attempting to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone when he plowed into the vehicle carrying the victims, Sanders said. Greis’ blood-alcohol level was above the threshold to make him legally intoxicated, the prosecutor said.
Greis, 57, of Independence, suffered bone fractures and is being treated at an undisclosed medical facility, where he’s under 24-hour guard, the prosecutor said. His injuries are not life-threatening, Sanders said.
No court date has yet been scheduled.
“I’m not sure that we will ever know what he was thinking,” Sanders said at a press conference in northern Kentucky. “What made him think that passing somebody on that curvy, country road after having consumed marijuana and alcohol was a good idea.
“But five people paid greatly for that decision.”
The local circuit clerk’s office could find no record of an attorney for Greis.
Killed in the crash were Rodney Pollitt Jr., 26; Samantha Malohn, 27; and their three children — 6-year-old Cailie Pollitt; 8-year-old Brenden Pollitt; and 9-year-old Hailieann Pollitt.
If convicted, Greis could face up to life in prison, Sanders said. The death penalty isn’t an option because Greis didn’t intend to kill the victims, he said.
“In this case, I don’t think anyone is claiming that Mr. Greis intended to kill anyone,” the prosecutor said. “Only that his actions were in such disregard for the value of human life that they rise to the level of wanton murder.”
Greis told police that he was on his way home from a golf outing in Campbell County when the crash occurred last Thursday. He was alone in the SUV that he was driving.
Investigators determined that Greis was in the wrong lane while attempting to pass another vehicle, and as they crested a hill the crash occurred on the two-lane, heavily traveled road, Sanders said. He said speed is believed to be a factor, but he didn’t say how fast Greis was driving. The speed limit where the crash occurred is 55 mph.
Suspected marijuana was found in Greis’ possession, the arrest warrant said.