RAVENNA, Ohio (WJW) — The man indicted for killing two people in an April drunk driving crash has pleaded guilty.
Nicholas Monachino could face 19 1/2 years behind bars.
State troopers said Monachino struck a motorcycle from behind along State Route 82 East in Aurora on the evening of April 29.
Ryan Tucholsky and his passenger, 40-year-old Sara Tartaglio, were thrown from the motorcycle. Both were wearing helmets. Tartaglio, a mother of two, was pronounced dead soon after the crash. Tucholsky died five days later.
Police said Monachino fled the scene, dragging the badly damaged front end of his vehicle, which scored the pavement. Witnesses followed Monachino until he crashed a second time along Pioneer Trail, and led authorities to him.
Portage County Prosecutor Victor V. Vigluicci said Monachino pleaded guilty Wednesday to two felony counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, one felony count of failure to stop after an accident and one misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle impaired.
He’s facing a maximum sentence of more than 19 1/2 years. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
He has remained in the Portage County jail on a $1.5 million bond, court records show.
Tucholsky was an organ donor, his family told FOX 8 in May. His heart, liver and kidneys were donated to others after his death.
“We are heartbroken, and are experiencing insurmountable pain,” Diane New wrote to FOX 8 on behalf of his family, after he died on May 3.
Tartaglio’s sister, who requested her name be withheld when speaking with FOX 8 in April, said she was grateful for the bystanders who helped get justice for her sister.
“I’m disgusted by what this man did,” she said. “Sara was just an amazing, amazing woman, she dedicated her life to her children, she was the best sister, she was there for me for everything, she was just a beautiful soul.”
“Don’t drink and drive, just call an Uber, call somebody, it’s not worth taking somebody’s life. He doesn’t know what he did, I lost my best friend, my nephews lost their mother, he’s awful, he’s an awful human being for doing this.”