COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A 53-year-old Columbus man is facing aggravated vehicular homicide charges and his 16th operating a vehicle under the influence charge after a single-vehicle crash that resulted in the death of his 51-year-old wife.
Robert Ellis, described by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office as a “habitual drunk driver” who has a total of 36 past driving suspensions with one of them still being an active suspension, was indicted on Dec. 2 with four different charges in connection to the fatal crash on Oct. 16 in Prairie Township.
Ellis has 13 prior OVI convictions dating back to 1985 and two prior charges that were reduced to reckless operation, Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin said.
“While investigating this fatal traffic crash it was very clear to investigators that Mr. Ellis is one of the worst habitual repeat offenders of drunk driving we have seen. He has no regard for human life continuing to be an extreme danger to the motoring public due to his criminal behavior of operating vehicles while impaired. It is further evident in this case in which he caused the death of his wife while having a blood alcohol of .185, which is more than double the legal limit,” Baldwin said.FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF DALLAS BALDWIN
The charges include aggravated vehicular homicide, a first-degree felony, aggravated vehicular homicide, a second-degree felony, operating a vehicle under the influence, a third-degree felony, and another operating a vehicle under the influence, a third-degree felony, for being a repeat offender, according to a press release.
Ellis has 13 prior OVI convictions dating back to 1985 and two prior charges that were reduced to reckless operation, Baldwin said.
The crash occurred at 4:48 p.m. when Ellis was driving was traveling eastbound on Alkire Road west of Johnson Road and as he was negotiating a curve he went off the right side of the roadway and struck a utility pole.
He was taken to a Grant Hospital. His passenger, 51-year-old Dawn Ellis, of Columbus, was pronounced dead at the scene by Prairie Township Fire Medics.
Ellis was arrested and slated into the Franklin County Jail Tuesday night by Deputies from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.