BELLMAWR, NJ — The owner of a South Jersey gym that reopened this week in defiance of Gov. Phil Murphy’s stay-at-home order spoke about his 2008 drunk driving conviction Wednesday morning.
Ian Smith, co-owner of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, took to Instagram to address rumors of his drunk driving conviction that have come about amid the gym’s reopening on Monday and Tuesday. (See video below)
In 2008, Smith was sentenced to more than five years in prison for causing a crash that killed a Galloway teenager, according to nj.com. He ran a stop sign and killed 19-year-old Kevin Ade.
“This is something I’ve been public about my whole life. I’ve never run from it, nor would I ever,” Smith said in the video. “It’s something I accept full responsibility for, and for anybody out there who hates me, I think you are completely justified in doing so.”
Saying he wanted to set the details straight, Smith went on to discuss how he woke up after a night of drinking in his dorm room and got in his car.
“Moments later, I was the sole cause of a motor vehicle accident that took the life of a young man named Kevin,” Smith said. “When I awoke that morning, I didn’t realize there was still alcohol in my system. Being a 20-year-old kid, no one ever explained those dangers. It was always don’t drink and drive, and we didn’t drink and drive.”
He said it didn’t matter, and the end result was still the same.
“My actions caused the death of a young man and broke the hearts of an entire community, and that’s something that they’ll never fully recover from,” Smith said. “There’s nothing that I can do other than try to live a good life and give back and try to promote as much love and positivity in the world as I can.
“That being said, what we have started and what we are doing at Atilis has very little to do with me as an individual. I just happen to be at the front of it. What we’re standing up for is far greater than me and far greater than Atilis Gym.”
He said they are standing up for constitutional rights and small businesses that are struggling all over the world.
“Some people will look at what I’ve done in the past and never forgive me for it,” Smith said. “But what we’re doing here is far greater than me.” https://news.yahoo.com/owner-nj-gym-defied-murphy-144949955.html