Last Tuesday, Ohio native Matthew Cordle made a YouTube video entitled “I Killed a Man” confessing his car accident, which resulted in the killing of another man.
Cordle had been drinking all night with his friends, and around 3 a.m. he decided to drive home in his Toyota Tundra pickup truck. He had begun driving the wrong way on I-670 and crashed into a Jeep, which 61-year-old Vincent Canzani had been driving.
Canzani was pronounced dead at the scene. Cordle was taken to the hospital, capable of recovery.
Cordle decided he wanted to make the video with the Because I Said I Would organization, which is, according to its website, “a social movement trying to better humanity through the power of a promise.”
The video starts off with him admitting to what he had done. His face is blurry and his voice unrecognizable as he describes the night. He speaks about the reasons he drank as much as he did, as well as how a few attorneys told him he would be able to get away with it as long as he was OK with lying.
Eventually, though, the video becomes clear and we are able to see his face and hear his actual voice. “My name is Matthew Cordle and on June 22, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani. This video will act as my confession,” he explains.
His reason for the video is to inform others not to drink and drive regardless of circumstances. He asks those watching to make the promise to never drink and drive. The video ends with him saying, “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,” and goes to a black screen with the words “make the promise to never drink and drive” at the bottom.
Several people are impressed with the way he handled this situation rather than lying. According to NBC News, the Franklin County prosecutor for the case, Ron O’Brien, said it was “refreshing for someone to step up to the plate and say ‘I did it.’”
However, Canzani’s daughter, Angel Canzani, disagrees. “If he wanted to raise awareness, I would’ve commended him for that down the road. But the video is totally misleading — the motive, I believe, so he’ll get a lighter sentence,” she explained.
The video has been quite controversial since some believe it was made for others to sympathize for Cordle. One commenter said, “I believe that this confession was coerced … and I don’t believe one word of it. Why wasn’t he charged that night? And I believe the police also are helping him for a light sentence. He had plenty of time to get a story together.”
Others, though, are commending it, as one commenter wrote, “an example of true humanity.”
George Breitmayer III, Cordle’s attorney, said, Cordle will most likely be facing from two to eight years in prison since he is accusing Cordle of a second-degree felony charge for aggravated vehicular homicide.
Nobody really knows for sure if the reason for the tape was just to receive a shorter prison sentence or to have people feel remorse toward him. Some may ask, why didn’t he just admit to it in court instead of making it a huge deal?
But, Cordle, unlike many others, at least admitted to his act no matter how much attention it may have stricken. He is sending a positive message, which may inspire many who do drink and drive or may have considered doing it in the past to think twice.