Cobles, Ordered to Pay $292K in Caltrans Suit,
Are Launching Letter Campaign to Fight Back
September 29, 2010 -- Lori and Chris Coble, of Ladera Ranch, whose three young children were killed in a horrific crash on the I-5 three years ago, have been ordered to pay Caltrans $291,534.04 in fees and costs after losing a wrongful death lawsuit in July against the state highway department.
Lori Coble and her mother, Cynthia Maestri, were stuck in traffic while heading south on the I-5 just before the Oso Exit when they were rammed in the rear by a semi-tractor rig driven about 55-mph by Jorge Miguel Romero, 38, Apple Valley.
Both Lori, who was driving, and her mother, who was beside her in the front seat of the family's mini-van, were injured, but the three children, Kyle, 5, Emma, 4, and Katie, 2, all strapped in their safety seats, were crushed.
The Cobles had sued Catrans because, they argued, the agency knew the approach to the one-lane Oso Exit was dangerous and needed an extra exit lane but did nothing about it.
Expansion of the Southbound OSO Exit was on the drawing board years from now but was accelerated by Orange County Fifth District Pat Bates and has since been completed.
The Cobles are appealing the charges and are asking their friends and supporters to help them with a writing campaign.
"Some of you know Lori and I have recently been ordered by Judge Nancy Weiben Stock to pay Caltrans $291,534 for their legal fees for the trial we lost a few months ago," said Chris Coble in a letter.
"Many people I’ve spoken to understand the danger which was the Oso exit and how nothing was done even though Caltrans identified the problems 10 years prior. To defend the lawsuit in Court, Caltrans employees lied, their experts lied, pretty much everyone lied . . . Now they are coming after us for their fees" Chris went on.
"If you think this situation is as wrong as I do, please take a few moments and express your feeling in an email and send it to the following locations (click on blue highlighted names for direct link):
-- CA Attorney General & Candidate for Governor Jerry Brown
-- Candidate for CA Govenor Meg Whitman
-- Orange County Fifth District Supervisor Bate Bates
-- Pat Bates' Communitiy Affairs Director Sergio Prince
-- Orange County Transit Authority OCTA
"Also please take the text from the email and send it to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. To do that you need to click on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and select "Caltrans" in the subject drop-down box and press the "Submit" button. After that copy in the text."
The photo above, right, shows Lori Coble discussing the case on the Ladera Times "Open Mic" radio show hosted by Jim Schmitt, Editor and Publisher, every Wednesday from 2:00 to 3:00 pm at OC Talk Radio.
Caltrans Found Not Guilty in Tragic Coble Accident
July 14, 2010 -- A jury has determined that Caltrans was not at fault in the accident on I-5 South approaching the OSO Parkway Exit that resulted in the deaths on May 4, 2007, of the three children of Chris and Lori Coble – Kyle, 5, Emma, 4, and Katie, 2. The Coble family mini-van, driven by Lori, was struck in the rear by a tractor trailer. Also n the front was Lori's mother, Cynthia Maestri. Both were injured. The attorney for the Cobles, Jeoffrey Robinson, argued that daily backups at that section of I-5 was the result of faulty Caltrans design. Expansion of the Southbound OSO Exit was on the drawing board but was accelerated by Orange County Fifth District Pat Bates and has since been completed. Caltrans Attorney Karen Bilotti blamed the accident on the truck driver.
Trucker Responsible for the Death of Ladera’s Three Coble Children Gets 364-Day Sentence Plus Probation
January 23, 2009 -- The driver of a truck that struck and killed the three Coble babies almost two years ago was sentenced today for his negligent driving behavior that led to the deaths. Jorge Miguel Romero, 38, Apple Valley, pleaded no contest on August 22, 2008, to three misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter involving criminal negligence. Romero was sentenced to 364 days in jail and five years of probation.