Parents push for law change after pregnant woman killed in crash

(KARE) A roadside cross can be easy to miss, unless it represents someone you miss.

"People died at those places," said Tom Goeltz. "You don't want to have a cross."

Tom, and his wife Melissa, placed a cross at an intersection in Washington County, at the site where their daughter, Megan Goeltz, died in 2016. She was pregnant at the time.

"We drove by there yesterday to go to court," Tom said.

It was in court, where the Goeltz family learned the driver responsible, 21-year-old Drew Fleming, would spend 180 days in jail, roughly half of the maximum sentence they had been pushing for.

"It was an unbelievably long journey, with a disappointing end," Tom said.

Disappointing because Fleming pleaded guilty to reckless driving, despite initially being accused of distracted driving.

"He stated that again in court, that he was distracted," Tom said, "and the data shows that he was on his phone while he was driving, they just couldn't pinpoint to the exact moment."

According to investigators, Fleming crossed over the center line and entered a ditch prior to the crash. He then continued through the ditch and struck Megan Goeltz's vehicle as she waited at a stop sign.

"We can't change what happened to Megan anymore," said Melissa Goeltz. "But we can move forward and make new laws that can protect other people so that they don't have to go through the same thing."

That's exactly what they've been trying urge the Minnesota Legislature to do for the past two years. They've spoken frequently, along with other families, in support of a hands-free driving bill. But the bills have never received a final vote.

"We need it this year. Please," Tom said. "I've talked to tens of thousands of people in the state of Minnesota. We need your help now."

And until it happens, it's a cross they'll continue to bear.