MARIETTA, Ga. - A man accused of driving drunk and crashing into another car with three Marietta Firefighters inside was sentenced Friday. Ron Herens, 23, was killed in the wreck. The driver, 24-year old Benjamin Seider was sentenced to 7 years and 4 months in jail after pleading no contest to DUI and Vehicular Homicide.
Herens's parents Cobi Koene and Dirk Herens faced Seider in court.
"He apologized, but it wasn't very meaningful in my eyes," said Koene.
Herens's was on vacation in California last spring with his two firefighter buddies, Doug Blanchard and Dillon Guest when the wreck happened. Herens was in the backseat and was thrown from the car.
"The force flipped the car twice and the g-force swung him out of his seatbelt and through the rear window," said Koene.
Herens's parents said they would have liked the sentence to be longer. "He will be 30 and still has a life to continue, and Ron does not," said Koene.
"I would have preferred it happened here in Georgia then the guy would have been longer in jail," said Dirk Herens.
Cobi and Dirk said they're grateful for all the support they've had over the past 5 months. From the procession of firefighters that brought their son's body home to Georgia, to those who live near the crash site in California who started a memorial to Ron. They were once complete strangers who have now become part of the Herens' lives.
"That part made it easier for us to be there, and we've become family forever, we call ourselves, united in love," said Koene.
Herens's two friends, Doug Blanchard and Dillon Guest who were with him in the crash, were also injured. They have since returned to work as firefighters.