‘Habitual drunk driver’ kills wife in Ohio crash, investigators say

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH/NBC) – A Columbus, Ohio man is now facing his 16th drunk driving charge. But this time, his driving killed his wife.

53-year-old Robert Ellis is described by the local sheriff as a “habitual drunk driver.” His convictions date back to 1985. His license has been suspended 36 times.

Back in October, he was involved in a fatal crash in Prairie Township. That crash resulted in the death of his wife, Dawn.

The crash occurred in the afternoon. As he was negotiating a curve, he went off the side of the road and hit a utility pole. That pole still shows the scars from the crash.

Neighbors say Robert and Dawn Ellis had an alcohol-fueled relationship and would often go to bars and come home late at night.

Authorities said there is no way to actually stop a person from driving when they keep getting released.

Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin explained, “Until that person is actually locked up  to where he can’t get to a car or a vehicle — simply walk out, get behind the wheel and drive — that’s what this guy seems to do all the time.”

Ellis remains behind bars charged with vehicular homicide and operating a motor vehicle while impaired.

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