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Judge: Woman charged in death of Elder teacher

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Friends, family and Elder High School students and staff gathered to pay tribute to teacher Mark Klusman during a Jan. 3 funeral service at St. Monica-St. George Church.
The Enquirer/Forrest Sellers

A judge on Tuesday set bonds totaling $1.5 million for the woman accused of driving the car involved in a crash that led to the death of an Elder High School teacher.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dinkelacker said Kayla Wison, 23, was driving without a valid license, “indicating you had no regard for the law.”

At an arraignment, Dinkelacker also said Wilson “attempted to flee” the scene of the Dec. 9 crash, putting police officers and others at risk.

The teacher, 74-year-old Mark Klusman, was critically injured but died more than two weeks later at University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

More: Elder memorial Mass for Klusman rescheduled

A memorial service for students, faculty and staff was set for Tuesday at the high school.

Court documents say Wilson, of Avondale, admitted smoking marijuana “just prior to driving and crashing” the 2000 Buick Regal.

Kayla Wilson (Photo: Provided/Hamilton County Justice Center)

Prosecutors say she was driving about 50 mph at the time. She lost control speeding through a sharp bend on Warsaw Avenue in East Price Hill, prosecutors said. The posted speed is 35 mph, and signage advises drivers to take the bend at 25 mph.

The Buick spun sideways and hit a parked pickup.

Klusman, who was part of a volunteer event to pick up trash, was standing at the back of the pickup. He also was hit by the Buick, according to police.

Wilson then drove away and eventually abandoned the car Downtown, prosecutors said. Police determined she was the registered owner and arrested her Dec. 12.

Her attorney, Clyde Bennett II, entered a not guilty plea on her behalf.

She is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and tampering with evidence. She faces up to 17 years in prison.

More: More charges against driver accused of fatally hitting Elder teacher Mark Klusman

More: State: Driver accused of hitting Elder teacher never had license, under 2 suspensions at time of crash

 

 

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