ELYRIA — Matthew Glaze was sentenced to 14 years in prison without the possibility of early release for his involvement in a 2016 crash near Amherst that killed two women.
Glaze, 44, of Elyria, was found guilty on charges that included aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, tampering with evidence, possession of drugs, driving under the influence and driving under suspension by a jury in January.
Monday, Judge John Miraldi sentenced Glaze to 14 years in prison, calling it a sad day.
Prosecutors said Glaze had cocaine, heroin and Xanax in his system when he crashed a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban into a car at the intersection of state routes 113 and 58 on July 2, 2016. Maria Maldonado and Iris Candelario, both 58, were killed.
“I can never express how horrible I feel about the accident I was in on July 2, 2016,” Glaze said in a statement to the families prior to the sentencing. “I will never forget that day for the rest of my life. It was the day I unintentionally caused the loss of two people’s lives as well as injuring two others. This has been a nightmare that will continue to haunt me for the rest of my life.”
Family members of Maldonado and Candelario, as well as Lizette Valdez, who was driving the vehicle Glaze hit, gave statements prior to the sentencing.
“The guilt of surviving the accident, while Mary and Iris were the ones that were killed, on a day that I had planned and that I insisted they come with me that morning (has been a struggle),” Valdez said. “I feel especially guilty when I’m around the loved ones who have been like family to me and my two boys over the last 20 years.”
Valdez said she feels like a robot, just trying to live day-by-day, as she puts a smile on her face when all she wants to do is cry and stay in bed all day.
Carlos Candelario, the son of Iris Candelario, said his life has completely changed since that day in 2016.
“There’s a warmth that is absent from my life, which is defined by my mother Iris, my absolute best friend,” he said. “My mother will never travel again, she will never retire and she’ll never hold her grandchildren. We are left with an unfillable void and forced to spend the rest of our lives without the person who made us into the people we are today.”
Glaze said he hopes one day the families will be able to forgive him.
“I would like to apologize to the family members and the friends of everyone affected by this accident,” he said. “I’m truly sorry for your losses. I would never hurt anybody on purpose, and I can only ask all of you for the opportunity to try and make amends for the grief I have caused, so that someday I will be allowed to become a positive member of our community once again.”
Assistant County Prosecutor Tony Cillo asked Miraldi to sentence Glaze closer to the maximum end of possible sentences — 37 years.
“This job calls for me to sentence consistent with sentences that have been handed down in this county,” Miraldi said before he sentenced Glaze.
Many of the victims’ family members said they are working on forgiveness.
“I don’t hate Matthew Glaze,” Carlos Candelario said. “I bear him him no ill will or his family. I hope that one day I will be able to forgive Matthew Glaze, but in light of that, there must be atonement for the transgressions we have suffered.”