Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018
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Toledo man whose girlfriend died in crash gets prison

He lost “the love of his life” and his left arm.

On Tuesday, Vincente Keivens, Jr., 21, lost his freedom and the privilege to drive.

Keivens of the 1100 block of Bronson Avenue was sentenced by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Myron Duhart to two years in prison for an Aug. 3 traffic crash in which he was driving under the influence of fentanyl, a crash that killed Tiffany Koren, 19, of Toledo. The couple's young son was in the car but was not injured.

Judge Duhart ordered that Keivens serve the prison term consecutive to a 16-month prison sentence he already is serving from Wood County Common Pleas Court. He also suspended his driver's license for life and ordered him to pay $6,500 in restitution for the victim's funeral.

“This has to be one of the most unfortunate, tragic cases I've had — on so many different levels,” the judge said. “You referred to the victim as the love of your life, and certainly you have every right to feel that way, but what struck me was is you were so young, you haven't begun to live life yourself. That's how tragic this is.”

Keivens entered an Alford plea — not admitting guilt — May 22 and was found guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide. Prosecutors recommended a two-year sentence as part of a plea agreement.

He was eastbound on Sylvania Avenue about 12:55 p.m. when he turned left onto Overland Parkway in front of a westbound concrete truck. The impact pushed Keivens’ minivan into a utility pole, and Ms. Koren was pronounced dead at the scene.

Keivens told the court “drugs ruined everything” for him, that he is “punished” by the loss of his girlfriend every day.

“I know I was in the wrong and that I messed up,” he said. “I beat myself up every day for my actions that day. To know I can never be able to hear her voice and see her again kills me.”

His attorney, Frank Simmons, said the fatal crash — like a fatal overdose — is one of the fallouts of the opioid epidemic.

“This is one of the most unfortunate incidents that can happen to any family, any community, any person — the loss of a loved one under these circumstances,” he said.

Judge Duhart challenged Keivens to turn his life around for the sake of his son.

“The blessing in all of this is the child was not killed,” the judge said, “You owe that child. You owe that child. You owe that child the best life as a parent that you can give that child.”

Contact Jennifer Feehan at jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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