Moran: Oklahoma State Parade driver deserves life in prison

Ben Moran

With Iowa State’s Homecoming this past week, we saw all different types of events and activities around campus. Games on Central Campus and fireworks are just a few of the activities the ISU Alumni Association planned for students to enjoy, and they went off without a hitch. But as we saw at Oklahoma State University, it could have gone much worse.

On Oct. 24, Adacia Chambers plowed through a crowd of spectators during OSU’s homecoming parade. Four were killed and more than 40 others were injured. Chambers, 25, is suspected of driving under the influence, but as of now the investigation is being treated as a homicide. If convicted, she could face up to life in prison. Chambers’ next hearing is set for Nov. 13.

So now the question is what should be done with Chambers?

Finding her innocent should be out of the question in any scenario. That being said, many wonder if life in prison is justified. In my opinion, it is.

To start, let’s assume Chambers was driving under the influence.

Thirty people die in motor vehicle crashes every day due to an alcohol-impaired driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If alcohol was in fact involved, Chambers added to this deadly statistic.

Chamber’s driving record hadn’t had a DUI prior to this event, and first-time offenses are treated with five days to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines, according to Oklahoma’s state law.

Unfortunately for Chambers, four died due to her actions and the law for second-degree murder is no less than a 10-year sentence and up to life in prison.

If alcohol wasn’t involved, the punishment should be different.

Mental illness is another potential reason why Chambers would drive through a crowd of people, and Chambers is being required by law to have a psychological evaluation.

Jesse Gaylord, Chamber’s boyfriend, told The Oklahoman that she has attempted to “slash her wrists” twice. Chambers does have a history of suicide attempts, which brings up the discussion of Chambers being mentally unstable.

Nathan Oglesby, a witness of the tragedy, spoke with Stillwater Police regarding the motivation behind Chamber’s actions, as reported by KJRH in Tulsa. Oglesby stated that Chambers said she was “trying to kill herself.”

On top of this account, Gaylord reported that Chambers suffers from insomnia and hadn’t slept for three days prior to the incident.

Friends and family have come to Chamber’s side to defend her. Her father, Floyd Chambers, stated, “I just want people to know that Adacia is a kind, loving, caring person, and she wouldn’t have done this purposely. I just don’t believe that in my heart,” according to CNN.

So there are a number of reasons as to why Chambers would have driven into a crowd of people, but the bottom line is that Adacia Chambers killed four people and injured a dozen more.

No matter whether she was intoxicated or mentally unstable, Chambers took at least four lives. Those families will never be able to see their loved ones again. 

I know people make mistakes, but every action we make affects those around us for the rest of their lives, whether that be in a minor or major way.

If Chambers was under the influence, then her choice to drink and drive resulted in the tragic events that took place at OSU’s homecoming parade. Adacia Chambers deserves life in prison without parole if she was intoxicated.

If Chambers was mentally unstable, then this can be handled slightly differently, but she has still killed four people and deserves to be incarcerated.

If she does suffer from insomnia or some other physical ailment, then she deserves life in prison. She chose her actions and, even though she may not have anticipated these events, her choices caused the deaths and injuries of far too many.

No matter the reason behind this event, Chambers was the cause of it, and every outcome points to her being found guilty. Families lost loved ones, and many were left scarred in this traumatic event, it is her fault.

There is no middle ground in this situation. Chambers was the cause of this disaster, and she deserves to be found guilty of the crimes she committed.