Behind the Headlines
"I thought, what good is it going to do putting this kid in prison for 30 years?" Bruce says. "Everyone's going to forget about him. Everyone's going to forget [about] Cindy and Chelsea. And I felt that there was a better way to handle this. I chose to, number one, forgive him for what he had done, but I also wanted to go further...I wanted to meet this young man and see what he had to say."
For the first eight minutes of the meeting, Justin says he was too emotional to speak. Then, Bruce handed him some tissues, and the words came pouring out. "I immediately asked for forgiveness," Justin says. "I told him I was sorry and that I never intended for any of this to happen."
Bruce spoke to his sons soon after the meeting, and they decided to make a plea agreement with Justin. Instead of the possible 30 years in prison, Justin was sentenced to eight years of probation, two years of house arrest, 300 hours of community service and a five-year license revocation.
Since then, Bruce and Justin have teamed up to speak at high schools about irrational driving. Justin has also changed the way he lives his life.
"[Bruce's] wife was a wonderful woman," Justin says. "I try to live my life by those standards that they lived their lives by, and in some small way, to make up for them not being here. I'm not saying I'm a saint, and I'm not saying that I can possibly ever live [up] to those standards. But I will try my best every day to."