Wheeling woman sentenced in DUI death of friend

Ohio County

WHEELING W.Va. (WTRF) In what has been a very emotional case, on Wednesday the judge handed down the sentence in a DUI case where a woman was accused of killing her passenger.

Allison Coen, 24, of Wheeling will spend at least three years behind bars. The sentence is not less than 3 nor more than 15 years in the Division of Corrections. Coen pleaded guilty to DUI resulting in the death of her 26-year-old friend Tanner Young in June 2020.   

Coen apologized for the pain that she caused and described her unconditional love for Young and their unique bond. She admitted that she is an alcoholic and takes full responsibility for the incident.  

I will spend the rest of my life being sorry, and I will never be the same knowing such a beautiful soul that I adored so much is no longer here on the fault of me.

Allison Coen, 24, Wheeling

In Coen’s statement she described the difficulties that Young also had with drinking. She mentioned his experience with rehab and how happy she was when he returned in 2019.   

After the death of Young, Coen went to rehab in 2020 and was getting help through therapy and other recovery programs. She says on November 24 she relapsed and apologized for her weakness.  

I would give anything for a chance to redo that day over, to make smarter decisions. I know it will not change anything and I do not wish your pain on my family but if I could trade him places, I would take your pain away.

Allison Coen, 24, Wheeling

Several people testified on her behalf and 38 letters were submitted defining Coen’s character. 

Young also had others testify on his behalf regarding his character

Coen’s therapist verified that she diagnosed Coen with anxiety, depression, and PTSD and agreed the incident could be the cause of her relapse. Her therapist and others who testified on her behalf, argued that she would not be able to get the proper care she needs behind bars.

The parents of the victim, agreed that Coen needs help, however, they strongly believe she should be punished for her actions.  

My only child, I will never get the opportunity to see him grow more and more each day. I will never get to hold him again. I will never have another father-son talk.

Randy Young, victim’s Father  

Young’s mother says the consequences Allison should receive from the court should be based on the severity of the crime, death and justice must be served.  

In a chilling voice, Young’s mother spoke through her tears,

He did not deserve to die. Why should Ally get to live a life of freedom when she takes his away? She has truly proven that without a doubt, that her choices are not in her best interest.

The voice of Young’s mother

Coen received credit for the time serviced from December 2, 2021, to present. She has been referred to the program known as “GOALS,” which stands for “Getting Over Addicted Lifestyles” which is a 6–9 month program to treat her addiction while in prison. 

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