'Those people died horribly.' Driver in fatal NKY crash takes the stand

'Those people died horribly.' Driver in fatal NKY crash takes the stand
Heavy emotion in a Kenton County Courtroom Thursday as the trial of the Independence man accused of killing a family of five in a car crash continued. (WXIX)

KENTON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - For the first time since the fatal wreck, we heard from the driver, Daniel Greis, who is accused of killing a family of five in northern Kentucky.

Greis, 57, spent Friday answering questions as to why he drove his car on the wrong side of Staffordsburg Road on October 26 and slammed into the Pollitt family's vehicle.

Greis admitted to smoking marijuana the morning of the crash and ordering a double bourbon while playing golf at Hickory Sticks Golf Course.

"I had no affects of the bourbon," he said. "I didn't feel a little bit of anything."

The defense claims Greis was able to function normally, but the prosecution asked Greis's wife, Tammy, why her husband might have been in such a rush to get home.

On Thursday, Jesse Phillips told the court he was driving the pickup truck that Greis was trying to pass on Staffordsburg, but Greis said Phillips wouldn't let him over as they approached the blind hill where the crash happened.

"I'll get in front of him real quick and then I'll get over before I go over that hump.So I took off and I looked over on the other side of the thing and he was still there," Greis said.

[911 call in crash that killed 5 sends grandmother from courtroom in tears]

Court testimony and computer graphics show Greis was traveling at 86 mph and had the gas pedal to the floor when he struck the Pollitt's car.

Greis's defense attorney asked if he felt any responsibility for the accident.

"Yes I feel some responsibility. Those people died horribly. I mean it was my car that hit them. I didn't see it but I hit that car and those people didn't have a chance," he said.

The defense called its last witnesses Friday afternoon.

Closing arguments are expected to be heard before the case goes to the jury on Monday.

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