AUSTIN (KXAN) — After a suspected drunk driver hit a cyclist Friday night, a woman who watched it happen decided she wasn’t going to let the driver get away.
“I just can’t get that out of my head,” April White said. She was coming home from work around 9:30 p.m. Friday, riding her moped down South First Street away from the city. As she approached the Texas School for the Deaf, White saw a cyclist to her right, headed up the hill with her.
From behind them, she remembered, a pickup truck came barreling up.
“And I see this truck just pummel this gentleman over… and I just screamed, ‘No, no,'” White said. “It’s embedded in my head. The truck, like, rolled over him and he just went like a pancake. And I was like, I don’t know if he’s alive or dead.”
The truck didn’t stop. With plenty of others around to help the cyclist, White didn’t stop, either. “I just was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to get you. I’m getting you.”
Police don’t recommend following someone in situations like that — drivers under duress can be unpredictable. That was going through White’s mind as she went against the advice. “He knew he ran somebody over and he was trying to get away,” she said. “Not by a long shot, sir. Not by a long shot.”
Despite her Vespa’s speed restrictions, she caught up with the driver at the light at William Cannon Drive — more than four miles away. She jotted down the license plate number to send to police and headed back to the scene where the injured cyclist was being carted off to the hospital.
Police ran the plate and was waiting at the house of Zachary Davis, 39, when he got there. Officers arrested Davis and booked him on charges of intoxication assault with a vehicle and injuring someone in a crash. He was still in the Travis County Jail Tuesday evening.
“We got him,” White said. “We got this guy.”
In an affidavit for his arrest, police say Davis told them he knew he shouldn’t be driving but couldn’t get a cab due to the high demand from Austin City Limits music festival.
Meanwhile medics took the cyclist, Edward Hudek, to Dell Seton Medical Center, where doctors discovered a broken wrist, several fractured ribs, bleeding in his brain and a punctured lung, according to the affidavit.
“I actually don’t remember much,” Hudek said Tuesday, four days after being hit on his way home from ACL. “I had the Texas School for the Deaf on my left and I was coming up the hill. And really that’s about all I remember.”
White was there Tuesday afternoon when Hudek walked out of the hospital and headed home. “April is the star,” he said. Hudek thinks he’ll make a full recovery. Through the ordeal, he’s kept a positive disposition and considers himself lucky.
“He’s a survivor right here,” White said at the hospital. “Well I’m a survivor,” Hudek responded, “but she’s a saint.”