Family, friends say final goodbyes to dispatcher killed by wrong-way driver

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Megan Lange was a fire department emergency dispatcher killed by a suspected wrong-way driver while on her way home from work.

Friends and family said their goodbyes in the northwest Valley Tuesday morning.

Coworkers said Megan Lange lit up the room with her smile and always looked out for others, and although her life was cut short, they said her memory will live on with them in the dispatch center.

It was a final goodbye and a final salute for Lange from those who loved her. "It was just immediate tears, and to me, that was the closure. That was the point where this is it. This is final, and Megan is going to live on in our hearts; but she's not going to be there when I go to work," said Alicia Magera, a coworker and friend.

The 26-year-old dispatcher was hit by a wrong-way driver on her way home from work January 27.

"Which unfortunately was what took Megan from us," said Brant Keeney, lead dispatcher.

"I woke up at four in the morning and saw the news reports,” said Magera.

Magera said when she heard what kind of car was involved in those new reports, she knew immediately. "My heart just broke," said Magera.

Lange's coworkers said it's been a tough two weeks at the Phoenix Fire dispatch center, but hearing words of encouragement at the funeral has helped.

"It's okay to grieve. It's okay to miss her. It's okay to be angry, but all of that will work out she is in a better place," said Keeney.

They want Lange to be remembered as honorable, loyal, respectful and hardworking.

"She touched thousands of lives," said Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner. "The voice of an angel."

Most of all, they said Lange was a loving mom and wife.

"She will be gone, but she won't be forgotten," said Joseph Witt, Jr., lead dispatcher. "Hold that family in your prayers in your thoughts. They need it.”

Megan leaves behind two sons and her husband, Patrick.

United Phoenix Firefighters are collecting donations to support her family.

You can send a check to them at 61 E. Columbus Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85012.

Checks can be made out to United Phoenix Firefighters Community Charities with Megan Lange written in the memo section.

You can also donate through here: