An Oklahoma woman who killed and injured multiple people after she drove her car into a crowd during a parade has been sentenced to life in prison.
In October 2015, Adacia Chambers used her car to barrel into a crowd of people during the Oklahoma State homecoming parade, killing graduate student, Nikita Nakal, Dr. Marvin and Bonnie Stone, both 65, and 2-year-old Nash Lucas.
— Julie Calhoun (@JulieFox25) January 10, 2017
The National Transportation Safety Board reported that Chambers accelerated her car from 54 mph to 59 mph before slamming into an unmanned police motorcycle that was blocking the roadway. The crash killed four people and injured 46 others.
KFOR reports Chambers originally pleaded “not guilty” to four counts of second-degree murder and 42 counts of assault and battery. However, she changed her mind and accepted a plea deal. Chambers pled no contest and was sentenced to four concurrent life sentences and 10 years for each assault charge.
Though Chambers and her attorney had been building a case to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, Chambers felt she could not do that to the families of those killed.
“I accepted the plea because I don’t want to put the families through any more pain. My prayers are with the victims. If I could, I would look them each in the eyes and say, ‘I’m sorry and forgive me.”
According to Daily News, Chambers drove into the crowd that day because she was “suffering from psychosis.” Her father had taken her to a mental health facility before the crash, but was apparently refused or misdiagnosed.
After the incident, Chambers was examined by Dr. Shawn Roberson who concluded that she was in a manic state, switching from laughing to sobbing hysterically within seconds. She was finally rational and able to communicate after she had been placed on medication.
Her attorney said the focus should be on bringing Oklahoma’s mental health system up to par so that incidents like this can be prevented in the future.