JERUSALEM TOWNSHIP, OH (WTOL) – One week after a deadly crash in the same area, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating another crash that killed three people in Jerusalem Township early Sunday morning.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Alejandro Ramirez-Jaramillo, 26, was headed northbound on Cousino Road in a Ford Econoline van around 1 a.m. when he ran through a stop sign and struck a white Lexus driven by Robin Shellhammer, age 60, who was driving eastbound on Seaman Road.
Both vehicles went off the road and into a field.
Shellhammer and his passengers, wife Barbara Shellhammer, 60, and Whitney Meinke, 33, were pronounced dead at the scene. Meinke was the daughter of the Shellhammers. Mr. Shellhammer and Meinke were not wearing seatbelts.
Jaramillo and his two passengers, Javier Cevera, 38, and and Pedro Martinez were treated for non-life threatening injuries.
“People make poor decisions,” said Sgt. Christopher Fitzgerald, Ohio State Highway Patrol. “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.”
Jaramillo has been charged with vehicular homicide in relation to the crash. The Ohio State Highway Patrol believes he had been drinking before the crash.
An agent from border patrol says Jaramillo is a Mexican citizen. When questioned, Jaramillo freely admitted that he was in the United State illegally.
During an arraignment on Monday morning, Jaramillo pleaded not guilty to three counts of negligent vehicular homicide. He’s being held in jail on a $100,000 bond with no 10 percent. Jaramillo said he has been living in Asheboro, NC doing construction jobs.
Barbara Shellhammer was the owner of Nourish Early Learning in Oregon and worked there as the director. The Shellhammers and Meinke were attending a fundraiser for the school on Saturday night.
On Sunday afternoon, the school announced they would not have school on Monday.