Trial begins for man charged with injuring soccer player



Posted on August 6, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 6 at 6:21 PM

AUSTIN -- The trial for a man accused of hitting a former University of Texas soccer player with his car and leaving the scene began on Tuesday.

Nicholas Colunga, 23, has pleaded guilty to intoxication assault. He also faces charges of failure to stop and render aid and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He faces more than 20 years in prison if convicted.

Doctors say amazingly three college students survived being struck by Colunga. Kylie Doniak suffered the most severe injuries, including a skull fracture, brain swelling and eight bone fractures. Family members say she can't drive or go anywhere alone. Her sister, Alyssa, took a year off work to take care of her sister full-time.

"For us it's something we live with everyday. I don't think she knows the full amount of her disabilities," said Alyssa Doniak.

In February 2012, Colunga drove through a red light and into a group of pedestrians walking on East 8th Street and San Jacinto Boulevard in downtown Austin, injuring three people. A witness in the area chased Colunga down and detained him.

Kylie Doniak, then 21, was critically injured with a brain injury, punctured lung and broken bones. She was in a coma and paralyzed for several weeks. She has since had to re-learn how to walk and talk. Her family has been updating her progress with their blog.

"Challenge yourself more than you think you can do. Once you challenge yoursefl to the utmost you figure out what you can do," said Kylie Doniak.

Testimony resumes Wednesday morning.


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