CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Dunbar man will spend up to the next 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to a DUI causing death charge.
William Eren, 65, was sentenced to the penitentiary by Kanawha County Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit immediately following the plea on Wednesday.
The sentence stems from the death of Jason Young, 47 of Cross Lanes, in an October 2018 accident.
“What happened to Mr. Young that day is tragic,” Tabit said. “I have seen today how it was affected the family. Under the circumstances sir, I am going to sentence you pursuant to the statue to confinement in the state penitentiary for a period of 3 to 15 years and I am not going to impose an alternative sentence.”
Eren admitted responsibility in the courtroom for hitting Young with his vehicle near the intersection of 26th Street and 7th Avenue in Charleston on October 6. Young was driving a motorcycle.
“I went over one lane and I didn’t hit a signal,” he said. “The gentleman on the motorcycle ran into me. It was my fault, I should have had a signal. The signal blinkers. I was drinking and I take responsibility for it.”
Eren called October 6, “just another day.” He has a criminal record including fleeing from DUI. Eren fled the scene after the accident with Young.
Tabit said as troublesome as the conduct was that caused the accident, Eren’s conduct subsequent was just as troublesome.
“You did flee the scene,” she said. “You were uncooperative, refused to answer any questions and became irate with law enforcement and physical with medical staff as well. All that conduct is problematic to me.”
The family of Young was in the courtroom on Wednesday as Trudy Fragale, Young’s sister, gave a victim impact statement before the sentence.
“Jason Young was a son, was a brother, a husband, and a father,” Fragale said. “He was taken from his family at the young age of 47 years old. His death and absence from our lives has been horrific and devastating beyond words.
“Jason’s daughter Courtney is 20 years old. She will be graduating from college soon and will be looking for her daddy in the audience. She is engaged to be married this Fall and will not have her daddy to walk her down the aisle. Jason’s son Cody is 22 years old. He not only lost his father but his best friend.”
Young was transported to CAMC General following the crash and died on October 8.