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Woman calls for accountability after driver kills husband in crash

Posted at 11:43 AM, Feb 24, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A widow is pushing for justice and accountability as the driver who struck and killed her husband in a Mission Valley crash is set to be sentenced.

Laura Keenan lost her husband, Matt, in 2021. The two had just started a family and were looking forward to a lifetime of music and laughter together with their baby boy Evan.

"He was the most full-of-life person you could ever meet and had so much more to live,” Keenan said of her husband.

On Sept. 14, 2021, Matt was hit and killed by a driver on Camino Del Rio. Keenan said her husband was riding his bicycle and on his way to watch a movie in Mission Valley when it crash happened.

As a relatively new parent, Matt found biking to be one of the only chances to exercise, according to Keenan.

Even though it was dark out while he was riding, Keenan said her husband knew what to do to be safe.

"He did everything right. He was in the bike lane, he had his helmet on, and because it was night, he had the brightest lights possible,” Keenan said.

But she added, "He was defenseless against a 3,000-pound weapon coming straight at him at 35 miles per hour and he died at the scene."

To this day, Keenan said there have been no answers as to what caused the crash.

Police ruled out DUI at the scene, but Keenan still doesn’t know how the driver — identified as Melissa Gonzalez — could have been on the wrong side of the road and did not see Matt’s lights before crashing into him head-on.

Keenan told ABC 10News that a judge will be sentencing Gonzalez on misdemeanor charges for the crash, which means no jail time.

Now, Keenan is advocating for cyclist safety, and the San Diego County Bike Coalition is slated to gather in court on Friday to ask the judge for a stricter sentence.

For Keenan, it’s not about punishment; it’s about accountability.

She hopes stricter sentences for drivers who kill will help discourage reckless driving and make our roads safer.