SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — A woman lost her unborn child and her husband after a suspected drunk driver ran into their car head-on Tuesday evening.
San Marcos police say the crash happened in the 1700 block of State Highway 21 around 6:05 p.m., near the intersection with San Marcos Highway. Shana Lee Elliott, 21, of San Marcos, was driving into town when she crossed the center line and crashed into an oncoming Toyota Corolla that was being driven by 24-year-old Kristian Nicole Guerrero.
A witness told police a woman in a bikini was seen “rolling a bottle of alcohol under a vehicle.” When police spoke to Elliott, she admitted to consuming beer and liquor while floating the river at Texas State Tubes prior to the crash, according to an affidavit.
Elliott was originally initially arrested for driving while intoxicated, but when Kristian’s husband, Fabian Guerrero-Moreno, 23, died, her charges were upgraded to intoxicated manslaughter. Kristian, who was five months pregnant, was taken to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, where she lost her unborn child due to the injuries she sustained, police say. Kristian is still in the hospital in serious condition.
Elliott is currently in the Hays County Jail charged with two counts of intoxicated manslaughter and one count of intoxicated assault.
A spokesperson with Texas State University confirms Elliiott is a senior at the school. She is majoring in public relations/mass communications.
San Marcos River Concerns
Homeowners who live along the river say drunk driving after floating is a regular occurrence on their streets. And from Spring Break through October, they see the uglier side of the river.
“Lots of topless girls, I’ve seen sex on inner tubes. I’ve seen just all kinds of crazy stuff,” said Cyndi Rollings, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 10 years. “The more tubing outfitters that are here, the crazier it gets. That’s just the way it is.”
Barry Bailey has lived near the river for 20 years.
“Nudity. We’ve seen people die on the river. Trash, crazy trash,” said Bailey. “It’s pretty much destroying the river.”
Their street, Spring Drive, is the main artery connecting tubers to the river. Homeowners say in the summer, all respect for it is washed away.
“We have a stop sign at the end of the neighborhood and I don’t think I’ve seen a car stop there in the last three years,” said Bailey.
Ernesto “Neto” Madrigal, Caldwell County Commissioner for Precinct 3, tells KXAN problems along the river have gotten out of hand. He says last week they handed out 65 citations including minor in possession, disorderly conduct, DUI, DWI and more.
But Madrigal says leaders are listening and are working to take action. Two weeks ago, he met with state leaders and the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office to discuss an effort to build a coalition that would provide more security and protect people who live and work in the community.
Neighbors say they’re saddened after news of the latest deadly crash. They want to see action, before more lives are lost.
“With that much drinking and that much partying on this river, I’m surprised not more has happened,” said Rollings.
Texas State Tubes did not want to speak about the crash on camera at this time, but did talk to KXAN about some of the efforts they’re making to stop drunk driving after the river. In addition to shuttles that bus tubers from Austin to San Marcos, they plan to work more closely with ridesharing companies like Uber to get people safe rides home.
The company also has food trucks near the river to help people sober up after floating, and they also plan to have two water cooler stations up and running this weekend. Texas State Tubers also contracts with Caldwell County deputies over the weekends to have security on the water.