Witness says man was driving erratically before fatal crash

Posted at 4:57 PM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 18:22:38-04

COVINGTON, Ky. -- The man accused of killing five family members in a car crash last year was driving erratically moments before the collision, a witness testified Thursday.

Daniel Greis is accused of speeding while drunk and high and crashing into the Pollitt family's car on Staffordsburg Road in October 2017, killing the two parents and their three children. Police said Greis was driving at 86 mph, had a blood alcohol level of 0.89 and admitted to smoking marijuana earlier.

TRIAL DAY 1: Prosecutor paints grisly picture of Pollitt deaths in murder trial's opening arguments
DAY 2: Driver admitted to drinking, smoking marijuana before crash that killed five, officer testifies

Jesse Phillips witnessed the crash. He described how Greis was driving before it happened.

"Once I got to the stop sign, prior to the stop sign, there is also a sharp curve there ... I had to hit my gas because I thought he was going to rear-end me coming to the stop sign," Phillips said. 

The defense argued that Phillips is the reason why the crash happened. They said road rage between Greis and Phillips was the reason Greis was in the wrong lane when he crashed into the Pollitts. 

Phillips said he didn't want Greis to pass him because there was a car coming in the other direction.

"All I wanted to do was get away from the guy because I thought he was going to rear-end me," Phillips said.

Emotional testimony

Nancy Hoskins, the mother of Rodney Pollitt, also testified Thursday. She described how she learned what had happened to her son.

"The cops came knocking on my door at about 3:30 in the morning," she said. "They asked me if I was Rodney Pollitt's mother, and when I said 'yeah,' they told me everything that had happened."

A forensic pathologist, Dr. William Ralston, walked the jurors through the aftermath of the gruesome crash. He described the traumatic injuries the victims suffered in the crash. 

The prosecution is expected to call up one more witness Friday, then Greis' defense will present their case.