Gameinformer: "As anyone who's followed Mass Effect 2's pre-launch hype knows (or anyone who's played through the game since launch), it's possible for your game to end with main character Shepard (along with most or all of the Normandy crew) dying. Both BioWare and some loading screen text in the game have coyly hinted at what this means for Mass Effect 3, but we wanted to be certain."
Thankfully, producer Casey Hudson was willing to give us the clear facts on what happens to your save file if your Shepard dies in Mass Effect 2.
"Dead is dead. Mass Effect 3, as with the rest of the trilogy, is Shepard's story. If you have a dead Shepard at the end of Mass Effect 2, that saved game won't import into Mass Effect 3. You can play Mass Effect 3 if you died in Mass Effect 2 of course, but you'll have to create a new Shepard. Harsh? Yes. But we wouldn't be serious about the concept of a suicide mission if you couldn't die and your death didn't have serious consequences."
So there it is! Just in case you weren't 100 percent certain.