The video opens with a blurred-out face and an eerily distorted voiceover: “I killed a man.”
Matthew Cordle, 22, goes on to describes the events of June 22 this year. After an evening of heavy drinking and barhopping with his friends, Cordle got behind the wheel of his truck. Blacked-out, he drove the wrong way down the highway, into oncoming traffic, and struck the car of 61-year-old Vincent Canzani, who died in the crash.
About halfway through the video, which Because I Said I Would posted before Cordle had been charged with any crimes, Cordle comes into focus, and regains his normal voice. He stares directly into the camera and admits his guilt, vowing to take full responsibility for what he’s done. That’s his promise. (Video below.)
This harrowing video isn’t just a powerful testimonial about the consequences of drinking and driving: it’s a promo for the new Ohio non-profit startup Because I Said I Would. The startup touts itself as “a social movement dedicated to bettering humanity through the power of a promise.” The idea is that you think of something you want to promise to yourself or someone else, and ask Because I Said I Would to mail you a “promise card.” Write your promise on the card and give it to someone. You can only get it back once you fulfil the promise. By publishing the video of Cordle on YouTube and its site, Because I Said I Would wants people to use its method to make the promise “I will never drink and drive.”
The startup’s founder, Alex Sheen, acknowledged when he posted the video that it could be controversial, and Because I Said I Would responded to comments on Facebook with a post that said it was not praising Cordle as a “hero” for his decision to confess.
Emotional posts seem to be a theme: for another heartwrenching video, watch Sheen talk about how the death of his father inspired the company on Because I Said I Would’s “About” page.
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