Rally held at Capitol for woman killed in semi crash last year

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On the steps of the Capitol in St. Paul, families shared stories of loss and pain in a call to change laws to protect drivers better.

One year ago, 22-year-old Katie Burkey was killed in a car crash. Her death is now a catalyst for change.

“I thought that I could either do something or just be angry and I’d rather just do something,” said Karen Altman, Katie's mother.

Burkey was stopped on Highway 169 in New Hope during evening rush hour last year when a semi-truck driver slammed into her car from behind, killing her.

“It’s definitely very emotional and devastating,” said Altman.

Witnesses say that the semi driver, whose rig was allegedly 10,000 pounds overweight, was driving erratically. After months of investigating, the family was told two weeks ago that the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office found that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to charge the driver. 

“Do I think they had enough to charge? Yes, personally I do,” said Altman. “I think they definitely had enough to where they could have made an effort, they could have tried.”

With the support of others who have lost loved ones, Altman is now pushing hard for legislation that will keep people safer on the roads.

“Awareness something needs to be done and the more of us can come together and make that a reality, maybe other families won’t have to suffer the same thing,” said Altman.