Evangelina Ann Montecalvo was a bright light to her friends and family a happy girl who just wanted others to be happy, too.
She was so sweet to everyone, said her mother, Melissa Montecalvo. She was a great friend, a beautiful person. She was so much fun. She always knew how to make people laugh. She was always being silly and telling jokes.
Basically, she was just always happy, always smiling, always trying to make other people happy.
Thirteen-year-old Evey, as she was known to her family and friends, was one of three people killed when the driver of a pick-up truck lost control and crashedon Peck Road in Shalersville on Dec. 13.
Melissa said her daughter had a knack for making other people happy.
She was always there for her friends," she said. "I cant tell you how many of her friends and even her friends' parents reached out to me and let me know how much she helped them through something or was always there if they needed someone to talk to.
Melissa said Evey, who was a sixth-grader at Brown Middle School in Ravenna,loved helping her teachers, and they, in turn, loved having her around.
Several of her teachers came to the calling hours and told me how helpful she was, Melissa said. Between the principals from her current and previous school and teachers, probably close to a dozen of them came.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol says Julianne Shead of Ravenna was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado at a high rate of speed when she failed to negotiate a curve. The pickup truck carrying seven passengers went off the side of the road and struck a tree. The force of the crash ejected six of the occupants.
Also killed in the crash were Sheads daughters, Marlana J. Mullin, 22, andChristine Shead, 12, a friend of Evey's. Julianne Shead, her 14-year-old sons, Garret and Austin Shead, her nephew Matthieu Glass, 19, and Brandon Krotzer, 15, were injured.
Fatal crash: Driver in fatal Shalersville crash charged with aggravated vehicular homicide
Julianne Shead: Driver in fatal crash gets furlough to pay last respects to daughters
Shead has been indicted on 20 felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with the crash, including aggravated vehicular homicide. She is also charged with three counts of operating a vehicle under the influence, which includes allegations that she was under the influence of alcohol and methamphetamine at the time of the crash.
Julianne Shead: Driver in fatal Shalersville crash faces new charges, including meth use
Sheadcontinues to be held in the Portage County Jail on a $1.5 million bond.
People, everywhere, all the time, make mistakes, but thats not what this was, Melissa said.
At the time of the crash, Shead was awaiting trial on a charge of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs stemming from a Sept. 3 arrest on Peck Road near her home. According to court records, at the time of her arrest on that charge she had two prior OVI charges one in 2005 and one in 1999.
Melissasaid revelations about Sheads OVI history have shaken her.
Not only herself in the vehicle, but she put her children in harms way, she said. She put someone elses child, who trusted her to keep her safe and look after her, in harms way because she ...I dont even know why. I cant think of a reason for that situation to ever be OK.
"This was not an accident. This was not a mistake that she made. She knew full well what she was doing and considering what happened to her family, to her husband, she knows what this kind of thing does to a family. She knew better.
Sheads husband, Douglas, was killed when his motorcycle was struck by a car on Route 14 in Ravenna in May 2018. The cars allegedly intoxicated driver later pleaded guilty aggravated vehicular homicide and was sentenced to about two years in prison. Sheads attorney, Jonathan Sinn, has said that Julianne Shead was driving to Westlawn Cemetery in Mantua to visit her husbands grave at the time of the December crash.
Evey was not just close to friends, but to her large family as well.
She loved being with our family, Melissa said. We have a big family. You know for holidays and birthdays and stuff. She liked playing with the younger kids. She was just so sweet.
And she enjoyed being with her mother.
She always wanted to go with me everywhere, Melissa recalled. It didnt matter if I was going to Walmart for a gallon of milk, she wanted to go with me.
She said she and her daughter liked to watch scary movies and shows together. The last one she remembers watching with Evey is The Haunting of Hill House,a Netflix series.
Nobody else likes watching scary movies with me. She was my scary movie buddy, she said.
Evey's nearly 19-year-old brother David is doing alright, Melissa said, but her younger sister Cady, who is 8, sometimes has difficulties with the absence of her big sister.
She doesnt really like to talk much about it, Melissa said. But when she does, it kind of hits her. It will creep up on her sometimes.
And Nolan, the son of Montecalvos boyfriend, was close to Evey and misses her as well.
He and Evey were the same age so they did pretty much everything together, she said. Riding bikes, going for walks, playing catch, walking to school, finding frogs in lakes and snapping turtles on the creek. Pretty hard for him, too. He doesnt have anybody to do any of that stuff with now.
Montecalvo said Evey was smart and did well in school. She loved listening to music and sitting on her bed drawing.
She was a pretty good little artist, Melissa said, adding, Shed give me a few things. She loved animals, loved animals. Shed go for a walk around the neighborhood and Id get a text, Mom, I found this cat. Can I bring it home? Its so skinny, I dont know where its Mom is.
She said Evey was good at most of the things she tried, whether it was schoolwork, drawing or playing football. There was no arrogance in it, it was just done with joy.
She would have done amazing things if she had had the chance, Melissa. She always did everything with a smile on her face, not to be better than the next person, just to have fun with everything she was doing.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at email@example.com.
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