SAPD: Hit-and-run suspect was checking app on cell phone during fatal crash

Christopher Gauna accused of fatally striking Tracie Sheppard

By Fares Sabawi - Digital Producer

SAN ANTONIO - The man arrested Sunday in connection with a fatal hit-and-run of a 29-year-old construction worker was looking at an app on his phone at the time of the wreck, according to San Antonio police.

Christopher Gauna, 37, was arrested around 11 a.m. Sunday, Bexar County Jail records show. He is charged with failure to stop and render aid resulting in death, a second-degree felony.

FIRST REPORT: Family identifies female construction worker killed in violent hit-and-run accident on 1604

Gauna is accused of striking Tracie Sheppard with his gray Ford Explorer early Thursday morning in the 8200 block of North Loop 1604 West, according to his arrest affidavit.

Sheppard had just loaded a construction sign on the back of her work vehicle when Gauna allegedly struck the trailer attached to her car, pinning Sheppard, according to the affidavit. San Antonio police previously commented that Sheppard's death was "very violent."

Gauna kept driving, police said, until parking his car at a nearby apartment complex and calling his friend to pick him up, according to the arrest affidavit.

Officers located the suspect vehicle at the apartment complex after a woman alerted them to it, according to the affidavit. The damage on the car was consistent with the damage found at the crime scene, police said.

When police interviewed Gauna, he admitted to driving the Ford Explorer at the time of the crash. He told police he was looking at the Lyft app on his cell phone when the crash occurred. It's unclear if Gauna worked as a rideshare driver.

Gauna, who told police he is an insurance claims adjuster, also admitted he was aware leaving the crash site was considered a crime, according to the affidavit.

Gauna does not have a criminal history in Bexar County, court records show.

 

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