Father of woman killed with children in NKY crash: ‘Those kids were … – Cincinnati.com

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The victims were Rodney Pollitt, Jr., 26, of Independence, and Samantha Malohn, 27, Hailieann Pollitt, 9, Brenden Pollitt, 8, and Cailie Pollitt, 6, all of Dry Ridge.
Chris Mayhew/Jordan Kellogg

Friday at 1 a.m., Ken Cooper heard a knock on his door on a rural, narrow road in Dry Ridge. 

A police officer greeted him. Cooper’s daughter, Samantha Malohn, 27, and his three grandchildren were dead. So was her boyfriend, Rodney Pollitt Jr., 26. 

They were killed late Thursday afternoon in a head-on crash in the 11000 block of Staffordsburg Road in Independence.

“They were good kids and good parents,” Cooper said. 

Pollitt and Malohn were together 11 years and lived for four years down the street from Cooper on Verona-Mount Zion Road. Their three children, Hailieann Pollitt, 9, Brenden Pollitt, 8, and Cailie Pollitt, 6, all died in the crash. 

Malohn was a stay-at-home mom who cared for their oldest daughter, Hailieann, who had Down syndrome. 

“Those kids were her life,” Cooper said. 

Pollitt worked as a bus driver for Kidz Club, a daycare in Erlanger. A woman who answered the phone Friday morning at Kidz Club said they wouldn’t comment per the family’s request.

Pollitt was like part of the family, Cooper said. 

“From 1 o’clock until now, we were pretty shook up,” Cooper said. “I think it hasn’t set in yet.”

Malohn has five siblings. 

Kenton County Police are trying to piece together what happened. Police have determined a 2014 Honda Pilot driven by Daniel Greis, 57, of Independence, crossed the center line. 

In the oncoming lane, Rodney Pollitt was driving a 1993 Honda Accord carrying his family. Malohn was in the front passenger seat. The children were in the back. 

Greis’ car struck the Pollitt’s Accord head-on. Greis was transported by helicopter to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. His condition wasn’t available. 

Police didn’t release a reason why Greis went left of center and whether anyone was wearing seat belts.

Investigators shut down Staffordsburg Road, Kentucky 536, for several hours Thursday night. The two-lane road is heavily traveled as a connector between Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties, said Kenton County Police Chief Spike Jones.

“In 29 years of police work, you do see serious accidents,” Jones said. “This would certainly be one of them.”

The news has shaken rural Grant County where the children lived and went to school.

Grief counselors were sent to Sherman Elementary, where Brenden and Cailie Pollitt attended, and Dry Ridge Elementary, where Hailieann attended. Letters have been sent home to parents of the students with resources to help them talk to their children, said Nancy Howe, spokeswoman for Grant County School District.  

“For kindergarten, it’s awfully hard for them to understand,” Howe said. “Our staff has been stellar. They are doing what they need to do professionally. I’m sure it will hit them this afternoon when they go home.”

Enquirer media partner Fox19 contributed this report.

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