MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 21-year-old man accused of distracted driving has pleaded guilty to causing a crash that killed a pregnant mother.

A western Wisconsin family says justice was not served on Monday.

Megan Goeltz died in a 2016 crash while sitting idle at a stop sign in Washington County. A 21-year-old driver crossed the road, bounced out of a ditch and crushed her car. Police say he was apparently texting when the crash occurred.

The driver, Drew Fleming, has pleaded guilty to reckless driving. He will spend six months behind bars for causing the crash that killed Megan Goeltz back in 2016 in Stillwater. Goeltz was pregnant and the mother of a young girl.

Though Fleming admits he was distracted, it wasn’t enough for prosecutors to present stronger charges.

Nearly three years have passed since Megan Goeltz’s parents got the news – their loving middle child was gone, the center of the family was, too.

“It’s been just an awful, awful journey,” said Megan’s mother, Wendy. “It’s like waking up from a nightmare every day.”

And Monday, inside the Washington County Courthouse, their horrific saga took a new turn. The man who crashed into their daughter admitted he was distracted and driving recklessly. He received a gross misdemeanor charge.

“Six months in jail for killing two people,” said Tom, Megan’s dad. “Is that justice? I don’t think so.”

Drew Fleming was sentenced to six months in prison. The college student will be allowed to attend class at University of Wisconsin-Stout for three of those months. He will also have to spend 20 hours sharing his story and talking about distracted driving.

“It’s not much of a penalty, not much of a penalty for losing our daughter and our grandson,” Tom said.

The Goeltz family says six months pales in comparison to the life sentence they received. Megan was pregnant with a son and already a mother to a little girl.

Fleming spoke in court, saying he offers deep condolences and will forever live with the weight of this loss. He said he we wished he could change places with Megan.

“I’ve forgiven him for what he’s done to our family, but I’ll never forget and that’s what gives me resolve to keep pressing harder as an advocate for distracted driving, drunk driving and drugged driving,” Tom said.

Although Fleming mentioned being on his phone, prosecutors say they couldn’t find data down to the exact moment to charge him with distracted driving.

But distracted driving has a light penalty in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Megan’s family will be back at the Capitol this session to try and change that.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

Comments
  1. “We need to call attention to the fact that people are being killed, families are being destroyed, people’s lives are being tragically affected, and business can’t go on as usual in this situation,”

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