EBENSBURG – A light to those who knew her, a young woman just starting her life, someone with a vibrant smile shattered by the man who took her life.
This was how the family of Olivia Red remembered the 20-year-old who was killed as a result of a wrong-way DUI crash in 2018.
Chase Edward Turner will spend eight to 16 years in prison for the U.S. Route 219 crash on May 31, 2018, that killed Red and caused life-changing injuries to her passenger, Angela Phillips.
Turner will also serve two years of probation.
He was sentenced Tuesday by Cambria County Judge Patrick Kiniry.
Turner addressed the court and Red’s family, saying he was sorry for what happened that night.
“I know that there is nothing that I can say to undo what happened,” Turner said.
“There is no apology that can make up for the loss to the family. I can accept the verdict from the jury, and I am sorry for the family’s loss and the pain that I caused them.”
Sheena Turner spoke on behalf of her husband, who she has known for 19 years.
She said he “stepped up to the plate and did all the things a dad would do” for her two kids.
“Chase is a good person,” she said. “I believe that he made bad decisions that night. I also believe he has been on the right track the last three years.”
Turner’s attorney, Karen E. Kuebler, said Turner has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and working when he can, but some activities have been impacted due to COVID-19.
‘Died before my eyes’
One by one, members of Red’s family recalled the night of the accident that took her life.
Her family described her blonde hair being covered in blood and motor oil, her teeth completely removed during the accident and hearing her take her last breaths on the 911 calls.
“For a moment, everyone tried to rationalize that was not Olivia,” said Red’s sister, Nicole Antal. “Then we went through the process of identifying her tattoos.”
Antal said that she recently got married and instead of having her baby sister as her maid of honor, she had to have a memorial for her at her wedding.
Stephanie Urban, Red’s other sister, was 17 when Olivia was born, and “from the moment I first held her, I swore that I would always protect her.”
She described her little sister as the daughter she never had.
She described Red as having trouble getting things to fall into place and calling Urban and asking her to pray with her.
Three days before the accident, she got a call from Red saying, “Sissy, I’m doing it. Our prayers are working.”
Urban looked at Turner and said, “Because of you, she won’t get back up.”
Angela Phillips described Red’s life as carefree before May 31, 2018.
“My dearest and best friend died before my eyes,” she said.
‘Looking out for my kids’
Phillips had been on her way home after working a late shift at Health Net Federal Services with her friend. Red had been driving Phillips because her home was on the way for Red, and Phillips did not have a license. It meant less disruption for Phillips’ fiancee and children.
“She was looking out for my kids,” Phillips said.
Recalling the moments after the violent crash, Phillips said, “I looked over at Liv, and what I saw looked straight out of a horror movie.”
She said the impact of the accident covered Red with blood and made her unrecognizable, but she was still holding the steering wheel from shock even though it had become detached during the accident.
Phillips had five surgeries that have left her with major scarring and impacted her ability to do daily tasks, such as laundry, or play with or carry her children. The accident has also left her and her family with anxiety.
“I hope that every time you think about drinking, you think about Liv’s face and the scars on my leg, because I think about that every day, and I hope that you think about your family, which you should have done in the first place,” she said to Turner.
‘Get some peace now’
While giving Turner his sentence, Kiniry said that one of the things that bothered him the most in the situation was his attempt to blamethe crash on a third person who later fled the scene.
“That story tells me more about your true character than all of the other information here,” he said.
Red’s mother, Tracy Del Vecchio, said that the family has great gratitude for the Cambria County District Attorney’s Office and prosecuting attorney Kevin Persio.
“We didn’t come into this expecting justice,” Del Vecchio said. “It’s never going to replace my daughter. I just hope we can get some peace now. I hope that he uses this time to change.”
District Attorney Greg Neugebauer said that the office is pleased with the sentence.
“We believe justice was served, but we are also sad at the numbers of lives lost due to drunken driving and this case shows that,” he said.