"This is just an example of how that one moment you take your eyes off the road, even though he was working, doing what he was asked to do, that one moment hurt so many people, devastated a community," said Glenn County D.A. Dwayne Stewart.
Now former CHP officer Jim Gamble made a snap decision in June of 2016 that would forever change his life ... and end another.
"We stumbled about what is that exact sentence, exact punishment .. I mean, you have a highly decorated officer who made one mistake," said Stewart.
Gamble had admitted that he looked down at his computer while driving north on I-5 .. didn't see traffic ahead stopped - and slammed into a Hyundai with three kids inside.
One of them, 15-year-old Weston Sites of Willows, was killed on scene.
At Gamble's sentencing Tuesday, Sites' mother shared a message of forgiveness.
"I wouldn't want Mr. Gamble or his family to harbor guilt in their hearts. We don't want weston's life here to be for nothing. He had 15 great years here and he lived them to the fullest. And what he would want, I think, is to make changes so other people don't have to die, don't have to suffer." said Jenn Sites.
Gamble is sentenced to 3 years of probation, and ten hours of community service for each and every year of Weston's life.
"The defense attorney and I said, we think that's appropriate in this circumstance. Even Mrs. Sites said 'there's nothing we can do to bring Weston back, we can only move forward and make changes'," said Stewart.
Gamble addressed the court, re-stating his sorrow around the tragic accident.
"One of the things we constantly dealt with was, how do you value human life, and when you take that life, what's the appropriate punishment?" said Stewart.
"I hope that people will be more mindful when they get in their cars, not be in such a rush. That phone call or text can wait. Somebody's life is on the line when you pick up that phone," said Jenn Sites.