An illegal alien has been accused of causing an accident that killed three family members and injured three others in Jerusalem Township, Ohio in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Mexico native, Alejandro Ramirez-Jaramillo, 26, of Asheboro, N.C., was headed northbound on Cousino Road in a Ford Econoline van around 1 a.m. when he blew through a stop sign, colliding with a Lexus driven by a 60-year-old man named Robin Shellhammer. Both vehicles veered off the road into an open field, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol records.
Shellhammer and his passengers, wife Barbara Shellhammer, 60, and their daughter, Whitney Meinke, 33, were pronounced dead at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash.
The police reports indicate that Jaramillo and his two passengers, Javier Cevera, 38, and Pedro Martinez, age unknown, were treated at a nearby hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
Jaramillo later admitted to a U.S. border patrol agent that he is living in the country illegally, and has been doing construction work in Asheboro, North Carolina.
— WTOL 11 (@WTOL11Toledo) March 28, 2017
Sgt. Christopher Fitzgerald of the Ohio State Highway Patrol issued this statement: “What we have is a vehicle which failed to stop at a stop sign which is a basic traffic violation, and unfortunately for us, we can see what happens when folks don’t make it.”
Following the deadly accident, Jaramillo was charged with three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, all second-degree felonies. Police officials suspect that driving under the influence may have played a factor in the accident.
Jaramillo was arrested Sunday and remains in the Lucas County jail, where he is being held on an immigration detainer.
He was arraigned via video before Judge Jeffrey Keller in Oregon Municipal Court on Monday and plead not guilty to charges. An interpreter was also in court as Jaramillo does not speak English. During the hearing, Judge Keller ordered his bond to be kept at $100,000 for each of three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, at city prosecutor Melissa Purpura’s request because he is considered a flight risk.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 6. If convicted, Jaramillo could face eight years in prison and a $15,000 fine for each count, as well as deportation.
According to WTOL 11, Barbara Shellhammer was the owner and director of Nourish Early Learning in Oregon. Meinke followed in her mother’s footsteps and was a third-grade teacher in Oak Harbor, Ohio. She left behind her husband and two children.
Yesterday morning my sons 3rd grade teacher and parents were killed by a drunk driving illegal alien. RIP Whitney Meinke. #BuildThatWall
— Dave Onion (@DaveOnionyo) March 27, 2017
Whitney Meinke, a popular teacher at RC Waters in Oak Harbor, was killed in a crash over the weekend. I’m live from the school at 6:00. pic.twitter.com/rVvSs2yaWS
— Jim Nelson (@JimNelson24) March 27, 2017
The night before the fatal accident, the Shellhammers and Meinke were reportedly attending a fundraiser for the school. After learning of their director’s tragic death, the school announced they would cancel classes on Monday.
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