Kylie Doniak, UT women’s soccer senior, was admitted to the Brackenridge Medical Center intensive care unit when a vehicle ran a red light and struck her and a group of pedestrians in downtown Austin.
The hit and run incident took place at 2 a.m. on Friday at the intersection of Eighth and San Jacinto streets. The suspect was taken into police custody after he was pursued and tackled by witness Sisto Perez.
Assistant sports information director Thomas Dick said he was unable to comment on Doniak’s current condition out of privacy concerns.
Perez was waiting at the red light when 22 year-old suspect Nicholas Colunga failed to stop and hit three people, including Kylie Doniak, while they were crossing the street, said Austin police department spokeswoman Veneza Aguinaga.
After failing to stop and provide aid to the injured pedestrians, Colunga drove away and Perez followed behind until Colunga crashed his car and exited the vehicle. Perez tackled Colunga and waited until police arrived to make the arrest. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Colunga was taken to the Travis County jail and is facing two counts of failure to stop and render aid and intoxication assault.
Alexander Hilliard, UT tennis player and friend of Doniak, said the accident was an extremely unfortunate event to happen in a place where so many students spend their time.
“We all walk on that same street,” Hilliard said. “The entire athletic community is banding together to support Kylie.”
Hilliard said the effort Perez made to stop Colunga from escaping was a heroic action.
“I think that guy deserves an award,” Hilliard said. “He’s an absolute hero and we need more people like that in society.”
According to statement released by women’s athletics director Chris Plonsky, the UT athletic department is very thankful for the wishes and thoughts from the community regarding Doniak’s situation.
“She is a beloved student athlete, not just here, but in the entire collegiate soccer community,” Plonsky said. “We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers on her behalf.”