RAVENNA, Ohio (WJW)– Bond was set at $1.5 million for Julianne Shead, the alleged driver in a fatal crash that killed two of her daughters and another girl.
The 41-year-old mother entered not guilty pleas Monday in Portage County Common Pleas Court to several charges, including aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault.
The crash happened in December on Peck Road in Shalersville Township. Five others in the vehicle were seriously injured.
“She was coming back from visiting the gravesite of her late husband when this happened,” said Jonathan Sinn, Shead’s attorney. “The vehicle was filled with kids. It was just a tragedy that I don’t think anyone can fathom.”
Lt. Jeffrey Greene, with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said the pickup truck Shead was driving had two people in the front seat and six in the back seat. Greene said Shead is alleged to have been driving the pickup at a high rate of speed, and then failed to negotiate a curve and struck a tree. Six of the eight occupants were ejected.
“This is extremely tragic and the worst thing about it, was it was preventable,” Greene said. He stressed it’s important for everyone in a vehicle to wear seatbelts and driver’s shouldn’t get behind the wheel if they are impaired.
Sinn said the case remains under investigation.
“We don’t know what exactly happened at this point,” Sinn said. “My client is in jail. We know she had a heart attack, but we don’t know if she had a heart attack when she heard the news or when she was in the jail, or if she had the heart attack when driving we just don’t know at this point.”
A family member of 13-year-old Evey Montecalvo said they believe Shead should have never been driving.
The FOX8 I-Team found Shead was arrested in September on an OVI charge. That case was still pending at the time of the December crash.
“She just had a DUI case two months ago, why was she even driving,” said Jennifer Joseph, Evey Motecalvo’s aunt. “Evey was amazing. She was so kind. I just can’t believe this happened. It is devastating to the entire family.”
Joseph said the family wants to make sure they get justice for Evey.
“We want to make sure she goes to prison for a long time,” Joseph said. “She destroyed so many lives because of a very poor choice that she decided to make.”
The latest headlines from FOX8.com: