Ashtabula remembers 4 killed by drunken driver, debate continues over repeat OVI offenders

Ashtabula remembers 4 killed by drunken driver, debate continues over repeat OVI offenders

ASHTABULA, OH (WOIO) - It’s the kind of grief that tears your heart open.

Ashtabula remembers 4 killed by drunken driver, debate continues over repeat OVI offenders

Everyone looking for answers as to why four people died at the intersection of West 58th Street and Adams Avenue on Friday.

At a memorial for the victims, one man spoke out saying, “...Complaints have been made to the city. Point the finger at the city, the guy who was drinking and driving that night.”

Eighteen-year-old Giovanni. Miller, 19-year-old Anastasia Smith their 22-month-old Gio and 47-year-old Michelle Hommes were killed when Donte Conard, a suspected drunken driver in a Dodge Ram, missed a stop sign and slammed into their Toyota.

A woman who knew the victim’s says, “it was a tragedy, not an accident.”

Jeralyn Shimell, a victim’s advocate for Mother’s Against Drunk Driving says “I can’t imagine anybody wanting to be saddled or strapped with the fact that you’ve injured somebody very severely, or that you’ve taken someone’s life...1.5 million people get arrested every year for driving impaired.”

Shimell has some hard figures: “The average person drives 87 times impaired before they’re ever arrested for the first time.”

Conard was convicted four times: in 1997, 1998, 2008 and 2015.

He was in court Monday morning for four counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. The 48-year-old served time for the last conviction but only 82 days.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.