Trial begins for man accused of causing crash that killed family

Trial begins for man accused of causing crash that killed family (WKRC)

COVINGTON, Ky. (WKRC) - Opening statements in the trial of Daniel Greis laid out the strategies for both sides on Tuesday afternoon.

Greis is facing five counts of murder in connection to a crash that killed an entire family in the fall of 2017.

The Independence man is accused of driving more than 90 miles per hour on Staffordsburg Road and slamming into a vehicle carrying the Pollitt family.

Police say Greis was driving under the influence of alcohol and had marijuana in his system.

Greis’ atttoney Stacey Graus told the jury that Greis did smoke marijuana nine hours before the crash and that he did have a double bourbon a couple of hours before the crash while playing golf but neither of those things impaired his driving.

“The important evidence is not blood alcohol level, but impairment, impairment. Was Dan Greis impaired? What level of impairment if any? He showed no signs of impairment prior to the accident,” said Graus.

Assistant Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Maria Schletker impairment and speed are the reason the Pollitt’s are dead.

“You will hear from other drivers on the roadway who will describe how aggressively the defendant was driving. You will hear about how he was speeding, tailing other vehicles, crossing double yellow line and using wrong lane of travel,” said Schletker.

Graus says the cause of the accident is road rage. Graus says Greis was attempting to pass a car driven by Jamie Phillips on Staffordburg Road but couldn’t because Phillips sped up while Greis tried to pass. Graus then played a 911 call made by Phillips after the crash.

“I had my daughter in the truck, I sped up because I didn’t want him to pass me. He tried passing me, I didn’t want him passing me because this road aint made for passing. I freaking sped up, I sped up.”

Rodney Pollitt, Samantha Malohn and their three children, Hailieann, Brenden and Cailie were all dead at the scene.

The family was on the way to Malohn’s father house.

Witnesses will begin testifying on Wednesday.

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