Jeffery Theisen, a musician, admitted drinking 10 shots of Jack Daniels whiskey before getting behind the wheel for the drive home to Austin after checking out a band in San Antonio on the morning of Dec. 10, 2011.
He was driving the wrong way on Interstate 37 near the Alamodome when he hit a car driven by Christina Flores, 44, head-on.
“I remember seeing the lights and I tell her to get to the side,” Juan Gomez, a passenger in Flores’ car, testified during the punishment phase of Theisen’s trial on intoxication manslaughter charges.
“She says, ‘What do I do?’ And I grabbed the wheel and then boom,” Gomez said.
He said he tried to comfort Flores after using his cell phone to call for help.
“She just told me that her legs and chest hurt,” Gomez recalled. “I told her, 'It’s going to be all right, mama,' and I gave her a little kiss.”
Flores suffered massive injuries and died a few hours after the wreck.
Gomez suffered minor injuries, as did Theisen.
Three hours after the accident, Theisen had a blood alcohol level of .18. That is over twice the legal limit.
Michelle Villarreal-Reyna was driving behind Flores that night and said she could only watch as the tragedy unfolded.
“There was no time to honk,” she testified. “No time for me to warn them to get out of the way or anything.”
Theisen has no criminal record and though he is facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, he is eligible for probation.
And that, his lawyer told the jury during his opening statement, is what he will ask from the jury.
Testimony will continue on Friday in Judge Ray Olivarri’s 399th District Court.