Witness: Plea Deal Could Mean Closure For Families Involved In OSU Parade Crash
TULSA, Oklahoma - The woman accused of driving into the crowd at OSU's 2015 homecoming parade in Stillwater cut a deal with prosecutors.
Adacia Chambers pleaded no contest and agreed to life in prison. Her plea does not mean she admits doing it, only that she'd likely be found guilty.
And, life in prison in Oklahoma isn't really life, so Chambers could actually get parole in about 50 years.
Her attorney is asking lawmakers to make mental health a priority during the upcoming legislative session.
Four people died and 40 others were hurt in the crash.
It was a terrifying day, and the plea of no contest, for one man who witnessed the tragedy first hand, means it's time for closure.
Harry Elzo was in Stillwater for the homecoming game, but, more importantly, to meet up with his freshman daughter.
"We weren't standing there maybe 30 or 45 seconds,” he said. "I had just gotten off the phone with her and I was kind of irritated."
His daughter was running late.
Elzo and his girlfriend parked their car but forgot to lock it.
"So we stopped and she ran back and locked the car,” he said.
They had just made it to the intersection of Main and Hall of Fame.
Elzo said, "It sounded like a racecar crash, cause I heard a crunch of aluminum and fiberglass. That's what I heard."
He looked up and said, “She was careening through the intersection."
Elzo described watching a horrific scene, saying, “Everybody just started running around like it was complete pandemonium."
That’s when he realized people might need his help.
"And I said, 'Well, we got to go help those people.' And she just said 'Well, go,'" he said.
Elzo said he couldn't sleep for several days following because it reminded him of a war zone.
Hearing Chambers had pleaded no contest and that she would be sentenced to life plus 10 years has Elzo reliving some of his memories.
“Your first instinct is to say, 'Hang them from the highest damn tree you can find.' That's your first instinct," he said.
But that having some closure now might be best long term.
"But I think not rehashing it, and moving forward is probably the best thing that can happen now," he said.
Tuesday, after preparing for 15 months, Chambers’ lawyer said that under no circumstance she was going to be willing to go to trial, saying she did not want the victims’ families to relive the day and hopes this will help in their recovery.