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Arthur sentenced to 6-9 Years in prison for involvement in Fatal Car Crash

31 year old Samantha O Rourke was killed in a crash on Aug. 1 she was driving when her family was hit head-on by a truck on State Route 661 in Knox County and Thursday the man who drove into the family’s car was sentenced. Vince Arthur, who was 36 when the crash occurred was given 6-9 years in prison in Knox County Common Pleas Court. A statement in court by County Prosecutor Chip McConville said Arthur was intoxicated when his vehicle struck the O’Rourke’s on State Route 661 in Knox County.

Arthur pled Guilty to charges of Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assault. He was sentenced to a minimum of 6 years and a maximum of 9 years in the case. He was given 87 days of jail credit and was given a lifetime operator’s suspension.

McConville says the sentences run consecutive because there were multiple victims.

McConville on overserving by liquors establishments: ” We need to change the way these establishments work so that when people are visibly drunk they get cut off and they help somebody find a way to get home”

McConville on Military service taken into consideration: “The Judge is serious about taking it into consideration, it doesn’t happen a lot in the Knox County Court”

Defense Side

Justin Smith and Noel Alden Defended Arthur who Smith said in court. Smith mentioned Arthur’s military background which includes 12 years with the US Army as a Combat Veteran. He served in Iraq in 2007-2008. Arthur was given 12 different Army Commendations. Smith mentioned similar cases including punishments included anywhere from 3 years of community service to 7 years in prison.

Smith on residency requirement so assist Veterans: “It’s a failure on the Department of Veteran’s Affairs”, Smith mentioned a residency requirement to seek assistance that was 6 months didn’t allow Arthur to get help with issues and he was in month 5.

Smith on Arthur taking responsibility: ” Vince took responsibility immediately, I can’t say I think the sentence is fair”

On Sentence: Smith says that Arthur could have received up to 23 years in prison. The Judge in the case did not run the sentences consecutively.

Smith: “Vince is a great human being”, “He was seeking treatment”. “This was a terrible situation all around.” Noel Alden read a statement after Arthur choked up during his statement in which he said his actions will haunt him the rest of his life and that he strayed from God and he took the mother of her children”

Smith: “There was no intention”. Vince went to a have a drink and ran into friends and drank more. There was no intention as the victim’s family mentioned.”

“It would be nice to have a program to incentivize bar owners to have a safe way for bar patrons to get home” -Smith

Involved in the accident was Austin Sheridan Carder who is one of Samantha’s children who spoke at the hearing. He suffered a broken jaw, broken lower back, and needed 7 surgeries. Arianna O’Neil suffered a broken collarbone and broken ribs and Levi O’ Rourke broke his hip, injured his spine and broke his ribs. He said his wife’s last words were “What the Hell” as she saw the car approaching. O’Rourke told Arthur he didn’t have to drink and drive and that Samantha had just gotten a job in Michigan and the family planned to go there. He said that he and his family are living an life sentence and called Arthur a terrorist to the community.

Photo from Knox County Common Pleas Website

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