Accused wrong-way driver pleads guilty in crash that killed Phoenix Fire Dept. dispatcher

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A Valley man who killed a Phoenix Fire Department Dispatcher after driving the wrong way on I-17 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and endangerment charges.
 
Police say Stephen Martin's blood alcohol level was more than 3 1/2 times the legal limit at the time of the crash.
 
The victim, Megan Lange, was just 26-years-old. Lange was the mother to two young boys that she left behind, along with her husband who is now fighting to make Valley roads safer.
 
"It's very bittersweet, we have a light at the end of the tunnel," said Patrick Lange.
 
Lange's life changed forever last January when his wife was killed in a crash on the I-17.
 
"We do have a sense of closure as of today because he did change his plea to guilty," said Patrick.
 
Troopers say Stephen Martin was driving the wrong-way when he swerved to avoid a DPS trooper and crashed into two vehicles. According to court records, Martin's BAC was .273. 
 
"We just don't want to see anything like this happen to another family, it's happened to too many," said Patrick.
 
The Lange family has now hired an attorney and are pursuing a civil suit; their goal is to reduce the number of wrong-way drivers.
 
"We're looking for a change, we're looking to effect change for really an epidemic," said Michael Define, an attorney for the family.
 
Define says dispatchers get between 30-50 calls for wrong-way drivers each month.
 
"There's a fine line between money and people's lives, and we want to focus more on people's lives than on budgetary constraints and concerns. We've seen an increase in the amounts of signs, but it's been an ongoing issue, it's not a new issue. It's a preventable issue," he said.
 
Martin will be sentenced on December 8.
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