Matthew Cordle learned doing the right thing can have consequences.
Last week, Cordle, 22, of Powell, Ohio, was sentenced to 6 years in prison for killing Vincent Canzani, 61, Gahanna, Ohio, in a traffic crash in June. Cordle admitted in a YouTube video he was driving drunk.
Cordle was driving the wrong way on Interstate 670 in Columbus after a night of heavy drinking. No one was arrested until Cordle gained notoriety by confessing to the accident in a YouTube video he uploaded in September.
Many people said Cordle's YouTube confession was just a ploy for leniency, but he seemed sincerely remorseful both in his confession and during the trial. To his credit, he did not ask for leniency before the judge handed down his sentence.
"It should have been me that night, the guilty party, instead of an innocent man," he told the judge and the Canzani family members.
Drinking and driving does have consequences. Sometimes those consequences are devastating. Canzani was a family man, a talented artist and photographer. His life was unfairly taken by a selfish person who made the decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after a night of heavy drinking in which he was in no shape to drive. Unfortunately, this decision is made every day of the week by people who, like Cordle, did not worry about the consequences of that decision - until it is too late.
To his credit, Cordle took responsibility for his actions, but some mistakes can never stop being paid for. Cordle will have to live with the consequences of his thoughtless action on June 23 for the rest of his life, as will the Canzani family who lost a husband, father, and grandfather.
Cordle's video has been viewed more than 2.3 million times. Hopefully, many of the people who have viewed that video will realize the potential deadly consequences of drinking and driving can have on families.