UNION TOWNSHIP, Ohio – The driver accused of killing a Cincinnati Country Day School teacher while he was bicycling was charged with his seventh OVI (Operating a Vehicle while Impaired) Monday, according to a Clermont County assistant prosecutor.
Todd R. Shaw, 51, struck Fredrick R. Carey with his van along Round Bottom Road at about 6:25 p.m. last Friday, the Clermont County prosecutor said. At Shaw’s hearing Monday, the prosecutor called him a “danger to society.”
Police charged Shaw with one count of aggravated vehicular homicide and leaving the scene. He is being held on a $500,000 bond in Clermont County Jail.
A preliminary search by WCPO could only confirm Shaw, of Cincinnati, received four OVIs in Clermont and Hamilton counties, along with other alcohol and drug-related charges, going back to 1996.
Charges In Clermont County:
- March 31, 1996: Driving under the influence.
- Dec. 5, 2001: Stopping after injury accident, stopping after property damage accident and operating without reasonable control.
- April 25, 2002: Driving under the influence.
- May 17, 2004: Driving under suspension.
- March 29, 2005: Disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana.
- Nov. 26, 2007: Driving under the influence, possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
- Feb. 22, 2014: Aggravated Vehicular Homicide resulting from OVI.
Charge in Hamilton County:
- August 27, 2000: Operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and possession of an open flask.
Shaw fled after hitting Carey and abandoned his van, police said. The van was found at about 11 p.m. Friday. Police tracked down Shaw and arrested him Saturday.
Officers visited various establishments that sold alcohol and got tips that led them to Shaw's location, police said.
Friends of Shaw told WCPO that despite his criminal history, he's just a "good guy" who made a bad mistake.
"I just hope this family of the person who got hit understands that it wasn't nothing personal,” Shaw’s friend Crystal Bonham said. “It wasn't his fault… He's a good person too and we are very sorry for (Carey’s) family too.”
Bonham said Shaw’s drinking has "never been an issue."
"It's drink after work. It’s not an issue. It hasn't been,” Bonham said. “He's got (OVIs) but they are pretty spread out.”
Clermont County Prosecutor Vince Faris said Shaw was most likely temporarily suspended from driving for his past OVI arrests, but those suspensions are limited depending on the charge.
“The suspension might be different if it was a felony OVI versus a first offense OVI, second offense or third offense,” Faris said. “I'm not sure how he was charged in the past."
Faris said laws are changing to keep multiple offenders off the road for good.
“The laws have been tightened up a lot over the last few years,” Faris said. “There's been increased penalties on multiple offenses. There's been increased penalties in felony offenses. It's a lot different than it was 25 or 30 ago."
However, Faris said he believes Shaw had an active driver's license when authorities said he struck and killed Carey.
The area where Carey was struck, near Beechwood Road, is popular among experienced cyclists, according to Sgt. Jeff Brown of the Union Township police.
"We see them pretty frequently - very nice bikes, helmets, gear. They ride in packs and it's very organized and this is a very popular stretch of road to do that," Brown said. "Of my 18 years in law enforcement, I have not seen an accident of this nature on this stretch of road."
Mournful Cincinnati Country Day officials said the community is shocked and saddened by Carey's death.
"Fred was a ‘lifer’ at Country Day, graduating in 1980, and had been on the CCDS faculty since 1998,” school officials said in a statement. “Fred served as the Dean of Students and was a very popular English teacher. He particularly enjoyed being the faculty advisor for the Outdoor Club and leading the Senior Project Program.
Carey was an avid cyclist and was following the rules of the road when he was hit, police said.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those impacted by this incident and with the Cincinnati cycling community," Cincinnati Cycle Club, Queen City Bike and lawyer Steve Magas said in a joint statement.
The Cincinnati Cycle Club, Queen City Bike and MOBO plan to hold a memorial bike ride in Carey's honor in the next few weeks.
A Ghost Bike Ride was tentatively scheduled for March 1, but it was postponed after Carey's family expressed wishes for privacy, according to Scott Fratianne, president of the Cincinnati Cycle Club.
Ghost Rides bring together riders for a somber memorial for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street. They also bring attention to the dangers facing cyclists.
"(Ghost Bike events) serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists' right to safe travel," according to a release from Fratianne.