COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A driver has confessed in a video posted online that he’s to blame for a wrong-way car crash stemming from a night of heavy drinking that killed another man and says he’s willing to take “full responsibility.”
The 3 1/2-minute video, posted on at least two websites on Tuesday, shows 22-year-old Matthew Cordle describing what led to the accident in which he killed the man three months ago.
“My name is Matthew Cordle, and on June 22nd, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani,” he says somberly. “This video will act as my confession.”
Cordle says in the video he “made a mistake” when he decided to drive his truck home after “drinking heavily” and hit the other car, killing the 61-year-old Canzani, of suburban Columbus.
The video begins with Cordle’s face blurred as he describes how he has struggled with depression and was simply trying to have a good time with friends going “from bar to bar” the night of the accident. He then describes how he ended up driving into oncoming traffic on a highway.
Cordle’s face becomes clear as he reveals his name and confesses to killing Canzani.
“When I get charged I’ll plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I’ve done to Vincent and his family,” Cordle says.
Later, he says he understands that by releasing the video he’s giving prosecutors “everything they need to put me away for a very long time.”
Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien on Thursday said Cordle was a suspect in the deadly crash but hadn’t been charged. O’Brien said he saw the video on Wednesday and downloaded a copy onto a CD as evidence. He said he’ll ask a grand jury to indict Cordle for aggravated vehicular homicide with an alcohol specification, a charge that carries a maximum of eight years in prison upon conviction.
O’Brien said Cordle’s blood sample from the night of the crash tested positive for alcohol and negative for drugs.
Defense attorney George Breitmayer III said the video “is a strong testament” to Cordle’s character. He said Cordle intends to cooperate with prosecutors.
Police in June said Canzani, of Gahanna, died at the scene after his Jeep was struck on Interstate 670.
Cordle ends the video confession by “begging” viewers to not drink and drive.
“I can’t bring Mr. Canzani back, and I can’t erase what I’ve done, but you can still be saved. Your victims can still be saved. So, please,” Cordle says before a message appears on the darkened screen: “make the promise to never drink and drive.”
Matthew Cordle’s video confession: http://bit.ly/1dWug8i