Jorge Romero, the man driving the truck that slammed into Lori's minivan, was convicted on three counts of vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to a year in jail. He is a father of three who told the judge that he was suicidal. Lori and Chris met Romero at the trial and say they gave him their forgiveness. "Mr. Romero was actually a very kind-hearted, gentle person," Chris says. "Just by telling this story you might jump to vilify somebody right away, but there is someone behind the wheel, and while they shared some of the blame in this tragedy, he just felt absolutely horrible."
Lori says it could have been anyone behind the wheel of that car, and that the accident was caused primarily by her car's location in a bad traffic jam. "I was stuck in traffic on a freeway waiting to exit and I was about half a mile back on the freeway, basically in a parking lot. There's a blind curve coming up to that exit, and I was so far back in that blind curve that he didn't see me. By the time he saw traffic, it was too late."
Chris says the roadway where the accident took place has been a problem area for about a decade. The Cobles sued the California Department of Transportation for wrongful death, claiming that it was a dangerous highway exit. They lost that case and then were ordered to pay $291,000 in legal fees, but say they want to appeal. "As soon as most people hear the word 'lawsuit' they thing we're out to somehow get money from this experience," Chris says. "We want [the California Department of Transportation] to change their procedures, for how they keep our roads safe."