Trial starts in hit-and-run involving former UT soccer player - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Trial starts in hit-and-run involving former UT soccer player

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Nicholas Colunga, 23, is on trial for a hit-and-run crash that severely injured UT soccer player Kylie Doniak and also hurt two of her friends.

In February of 2012, Doniak, Leah Payne and Andre Thomas had just left 6th Street when police say a car sped through the intersection of 8th Street and San Jacinto, hitting the three friends. Tuesday, jurors watched surveillance video of the hit-and-run taken from a downtown building that shows a vehicle hitting three pedestrians, sending them flying in the air. Witnesses took the stand to recall what they saw.

"We were trying to catch a cab, walking down 8th and a car started coming pretty fast and swerving over a couple lanes so we kind of backed up to get out of the way," said Mary Flores, who was downtown that night.

She told jurors that the driver ran a red light, hit the three people and kept going. Her boyfriend, Alex Reimer, also took the stand and said one of them, whom he later learned was Doniak, was seriously hurt. "She was face down, clearly unconscious. There was a lot of blood on the scene. She had a bad wound going down her back."

A short time later that night, and just a few blocks away, the driver, Nicholas Colunga, crashed. A man on a motorcycle, who witnessed the hit-and-run, followed Colunga and restrained him until police arrived. An officer took the stand and said Colunga smelled of alcohol, his speech was slurred and he threw up at the scene.

Doniak was taken to the hospital with multiple fractures including a skull fracture and brain swelling. She was in a coma for six weeks. She spoke to FOX 7 Tuesday about her recovery.

"It could have happened easily a different way and me not be here in this trial right now." A year and a half later she has made a lot of progress and is going back to school in her home state of California. This semester my older sister, Alyssa, who's a teacher, went to school with me and helped me learn stuff a different way."

Family members say Kylie is living with a brain injury. While they want justice, they say no punishment will help Kyle make a full recovery.

"This is something that happened to him and he'll do his time and be a normal person but for us it's something we live with every day and I don't think she knows the full amount of her disabilities."

Colunga pleaded guilty to intoxication assault, but his attorneys argue he can't be guilty of failure to stop and render aid because he was so drunk that he did not realize he hit someone. The trail continues Wednesday morning.

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