Recent deaths on our highways have highlighted the danger of big rigs out of control on California’s freeways.
According to an article in the Orange County Register, on Oct. 30, Jorge Romero entered a not guilty plea to three counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in the deaths of Chris and Lori Coble’s three young children-Kyle, 5, Emma, 4 and Katie, 2. I am certain that Chris and Lori Coble, of Ladera Ranch, do not consider what Romero did to their family a misdemeanor!
Romero, a big rig truck driver, whose speeding was determined to have caused the deaths of the Coble’s three young children when he slammed into the back of their minivan, apparently had been cited two other times for speeding while driving a heavy truck — in both 2002 and 2006.
Additionally, Romero was ticketed when he broke the law yet again in 2005 — driving with his lights off. Further, in 1999, according to the Register, Romero drove on a suspended license. Finally, on Sept. 13, a judge suspended Romero’s commercial driver’s license. But, the judge was too late to save Kyle, Emma and Katie. Shockingly, Romero’s maximum sentence, if convicted, is only three years — one year for each young life his reckless driving erased from this earth!
According to an investigative report published in the Register, KW Express, the Carson-based company who own the big rig Romero was driving has been cited 15 times for safety violations that came to light during federal and state inspections that took place after the deaths of the Coble children. Violations included allegations that five drivers were allowed to drive for the company prior to the completion of required pre-employment drug testing and that vehicle-maintenance records were not kept.
Driving is a privilege, not a right! There should be BIG PENALTIES for BIG RIGS when they break the law!
Byline: Carol J. Gibbons J.D.