A Texas woman who lost her husband and unborn son when their car was hit by an alleged drunk driver has urged people to consider the consequences of driving under the influence, sharing photos from the crash and hospital in an effort to prevent another tragedy like hers.
Kristian Guerrero and her husband, Fabian Guerrero-Moreno, were on their way home from a trip to San Antonio when another vehicle crossed the center line on Highway 21 in San Marcos and slammed into their Toyota Corolla on August 2, authorities said.
"My husband was getting his U.S. residency and he was approved that day," Guerrero told InsideEdition.com. "Immigration ... wanted to see us and know that our marriage was real. I had our whole wedding album with us that day."
The head-on collision totaled their Toyota Corolla, killing Guerrero-Moreno and sending Guerrero to the hospital, where she was forced to give birth to her 19-week-old baby boy whom she had named Fabian James after his father. Sadly, the boy did not survive.
A joint funeral for Guerrero’s 23-year-old husband and child was held August 12.
Guerrero, 24, shared a photo of herself holding her baby in the hospital, writing in a heartbreaking Facebook post on Sunday: “This is me finally being able to hold my son. This is what being in an induced labor for almost 24 hrs after surviving a car crash that killed my husband and my son looks like.”
She also shared a photo of her totaled car.
“All because someone thought it was okay to get wasted and drive,” Guerrero wrote.
The decision to share photos of the hardest day of her life was influenced by Guerrero’s desire to make people realize how ugly the effects of drunk driving can be, she told InsideEdition.com.
“My story has been getting out there, it’s just been barely over a month, but a lot of [reports] were focusing on how sad it was that we were just a young couple, [saying] ‘they were so in love,' no one really showed the ugly side of it,” she said. “And it was ugly. It wasn’t okay. It did cause a lot of damage.
“I wanted people to see how damaged I was. I wanted to spread this fact that this was because of a drunk driver. My husband’s life and my child’s life were taken away because of alcohol."
Witnesses at the scene told police that a woman wearing a bikini rolled a bottle of liquor under a car before police arrived.
That woman, identified as Texas State University student Shana Elliott, allegedly told police she had been drinking “beer and liquor” before getting in the car, according an affidavit of probable cause for arrest.
Police could “detect the strong odor of an intoxicating beverage on her breath” and reported Elliott’s eyes were glassy and blood shot and that she was unsteady on her feet, the affidavit said.
Elliott was arrested and charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault, officials said. She was arraigned August 5, when bail was set at $200,000.
She has not yet entered a plea and remains in custody at Hays County Jail on Monday.
If she is found guilty, Elliott faces between two and 20 years in prison.
The mass communications and public relations major was also arrested March 22 on two additional counts of controlled substance possession, a second-degree felony and a third-degree felony, according to court records.
She has not yet entered a plea on those charges. Attempts by InsideEdition.com to reach her attorney were unsuccessful.
“It's not okay. It IS okay to stop a friend from driving. It IS okay to take someone's keys away from them when they're showing signs of being drunk,” Guerrero wrote. “And it IS okay to pick up the phone and call for a ride if you find yourself feeling a little too tipsy. It's not a sign of weakness.
“It's a sign of maturity to be honest with yourself and know the consequences of driving drunk outweigh any kind of shame you might feel admitting you're too drunk to drive,” she continued. “What's not okay is spending the rest of your life with the guilt of knowing you've taken someone's life and taken someone's life away before they even got a chance to be in this world. It's not worth it.”
Guerrero made the conscious decision to not address her post to Elliott, saying that she hopes to one day explain the effect of the 21-year-old senior’s decision to allegedly drink and drive.
“I want to wait until I get to that chance,” she told InsideEdition.com. “I would rather do that face to face.
“I want people to know that we were responsible on the road that day, that this happened because of somebody else’s driving,” she continued. “This can happen to anyone. And I wanted people to know that not only is it important to not drink and drive, it’s also important to stop anyone you see [from drunk driving]. If you see it, do not just be a bystander.”
Nearly a month since the crash, Guerrero is back to school where she is working on obtaining her cosmetology license. She returned to class a week after her husband and son’s funerals.
“Cosmetology, it was something he actually pushed me to do,” she said. “It’s a 9-to-5 program... and he was the one who pushed me to quit my job and start school. Sometimes, when I think I’m too upset to go, I think about that.
“He was the type of person who didn’t call out of work... if he knew that I was late to school, even a few minutes, he was on top of me,” she said with a laugh. “I’m not paralyzed, I’m not severely injured, I can just hear him say there’s no excuse.”
It’s the thought of her husband and son that push her in all aspects of life.
“My husband, he was amazing,” she said. “He changed my life completely before this, and it’s a huge loss for us. I feel like there’s a reason why I didn’t die that day. I just keep reminding myself I do have a purpose. My husband isn’t here and I need to be a voice for him. It’s my duty for them to advocate for this because I survived.”