US man pleads guilty to homicide after online confession

CHICAGO (AFP) - A young Ohio man who made an online video confession to killing a man while driving drunk pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide Wednesday, court records showed.

Matthew Cordle, 22, was also charged with driving under the influence.

In the video confession, Cordle recounted how he "blacked out" behind the wheel after a night of "heavy drinking" then hit another vehicle in a wrong-way crash on an Interstate highway on June 22.

The video ends with Cordle looking into the camera and telling viewers: "I'm begging you. Please don't drink and drive. I can't bring Mr Canzani back ... but you can still be saved. Your victims can still be saved." Vincent Canzani, 61, was described in his obituary as a gifted photographer who attended art school in Ohio and later served in the US Navy as a submarine missile technician.

Local news reports at the time of the accident said Mr Canzani died at the scene of the pre-dawn crash, and that medical staff described the driver of the vehicle that hit him as "very, very drunk."

Every day in the United States, almost 30 people are killed in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver, amounting to one death every 48 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

It put the annual cost of alcohol-related crashes at more than US$51 billion (S$63.6 billion) and the total number of drunk-driving fatalities in 2010 at 10,228 - about a third of all traffic deaths.

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