COLUMBUS — Sheriff Dallas Baldwin states that the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office investigated a fatal traffic crash, which occurred Oct. 16 at approximately 4:48 p.m. on Alkire Road, west of Johnson Road, located in Prairie Township.

A 1995 silver Chevrolet Silverado was traveling eastbound on Alkire Road, west of Johnson Road, and as he was negotiating a curve, he went off the right side of the roadway and struck a utility pole. The driver of the Chevrolet was identified as Robert Ellis, age 53, of Columbus. He was transported to Grant Hospital. The passenger was identified as Dawn Ellis, age 51, of Columbus. She was pronounced deceased on scene by Prairie Township Fire Medics.

It is unknown at this time whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in this crash. Neither the driver nor passenger was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

On Dec. 2, a Franklin County Grand Jury handed down an indictment on Robert Lee Ellis with four different charges. The charges are for aggravated vehicular homicide, a first-degree felony; aggravated vehicular homicide, a second-degree felony; operating a vehicle under the influence, a third-degree felony; and another operating a vehicle under the influence, a third-degree felony for being a repeat offender.

He was arrested and slated into the Franklin County Jail at night on Dec. 3 by deputies from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.

According to the FCSO, Robert Ellis is a habitual drunk driver and this will be his 13th OVI, he has also had a total of 36 past driving suspensions with one of them still being an active suspension.

While investigating this fatal traffic crash, it was very clear to investigators that Ellis is one of the worst habitual repeat offenders of drunk driving we have seen. He has no regard for human life continuing to be an extreme danger to the motoring public due to his criminal behavior of operating vehicles while impaired. It is further evident in this case in which he caused the death of his wife while having a blood alcohol of .185, which is more than double the legal limit.

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