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Construction workers pack courtroom during arraignment of woman accused of killing one of their own

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Posted at 9:47 AM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 10:59:39-04

CLEVELAND — A 31-year-old Lakewood woman accused of hitting and killing a construction worker and injuring another on I-71 southbound in Brook Park earlier this month appeared in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Friday.

Sabra Tolliver, 31, of Lakewood, is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, driving under the influence, fleeing the scene of an accident and driving in marked lanes.

Judge Cassandra Collier-Williams lowered her previous $1 million bond to $250,000. Her case is being handed over to the grand jury.

Her charges stem from a fatal accident on Oct. 9 in which she allegedly struck and killed 61-year-old Rafael Solis, who was part of a line-painting crew working for TraffTech Inc., a Cleveland-based company that also lost an employee in May in a hit-skip in University Heights.

Family and coworkers of Solis showed up in the courtroom to show support for one of their own. On Friday, around a dozen road crew workers found themselves in the same situation as they were in August 2018, when one of their own, David Sollars, was killed by a hit-skip driver working near the University Heights-South Euclid Border.

A road work crew, all wearing bright, yellow safety vests from Laborers 860, crammed into the the back of the courtroom.

Among them was Business Manager of Laborers 960 Anthony Liberatore who spoke on Friday following Tolliver's arraignment, asking how many more times someone has to die while just doing their job.

"Brother Solis was slaughtered while being employed. It’s a tragedy. You leave your house. Kiss your wife, kiss your children and say goodbye and not to return home, it simply shouldn’t happen," Liberatore said.

He feels like his message to motorists to slow down and use caution is going unnoticed.

"The motorists who are distracted and impaired have no business being on the road. We are trying to make the roads safer for these folks and this is how we are treated," he said.

RELATED: Woman accused of hitting, killing construction worker held on $1 million bond