Woman who lost boyfriend, pregnancy to drunk driver speaks out

Estefania Soto weeps as she recalls the day a driver hit the motorcycle she and her boyfriend were riding on. KXAN Photo/ Alyssa Goard.
Estefania Soto weeps as she recalls the day a driver hit the motorcycle she and her boyfriend were riding on. (KXAN Photo/Alyssa Goard)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Estefania Soto has spent her days in various hospital rooms since the crash on June 10. She and her boyfriend, 28-year-old Raul Diaz, Jr., were on a motorcycle on Farm to Market 973 near FM 969 in east Travis County when they were hit head-on by a truck.

The crash killed Diaz and resulted in the premature birth of their child. Soto, 26, was only six months pregnant. Their baby was delivered through a C-section after the crash and passed away shortly after.

Soto has had 15 surgeries over the past month including a leg amputation. Sunday she was finally well enough to speak with KXAN about the loss she’s had to deal with.

She said that on the day of the crash, she left to go run an errand with her boyfriend. He wanted to take her on a quick motorcycle ride.

“We were going as slow as he could because I told him I was nervous and he told me he would never do anything that would hurt me or us, and I knew he wouldn’t,” Soto recalled.

She said that the truck came at them fast.  “I was ejected from the motorcycle, and all I remember is, I was screaming his name, like I was so worried about how he was doing, I couldn’t feel any pain or anything I was just able to hold myself up on the grass,” Soto said.

Police arrested the driver of the truck that hit them, 38-year-old Cesar Corona-Quiterio, on charges of intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault. He is also being held for an immigration detainer. As of Sunday he remains in the Travis County Jail with bond totaling $2 million.

Soto explained that the driver left the scene and Good Samaritans initially came to her aid. Then firefighters helped her into an ambulance, holding her hand the entire way as she began to have contractions.

“Before I closed my eyes I just prayed to God that my baby was OK,” Soto said through tears. “Because I knew it was bad, I could feel it. I felt the impact and I couldn’t feel my stomach or anything and I knew that she was hurt.”

Soto was able to hold her daughter briefly, then had to say goodbye. She learned afterward that Diaz had died as well.

Soto said that she and Diaz had made plans to build a family together. When the crash happened, Diaz’s mother told KXAN the baby would have been Diaz’s first child and her first grandchild. They had already begun buying supplies and clothes for the baby.

“It’s hard because I never imagined I wouldn’t be with him, we had a plan already, we were living here and we had a baby on the way and he was like my family,” Soto said, weeping. “To lose everything so fast it’s hard, I lost him and I lost my baby, and sometimes I feel like I’m never gonna be the same and I’m never going to get over this. But I have to be strong for my son.”

Diaz was also like a second father to Soto’s five-year-old son Mason.

During the interview Sunday, it was clear that Soto was in immense physical pain, but the emotional pain that came with this crash, she says, is far worse. She wants to spread awareness about the devastation drunk driving can cause.

“I feel like this shouldn’t have happened, nobody should be drinking and driving or driving drunk, it’s ridiculous,” Soto said. “If you’re that drunk that you can’t drive, you’re not just putting yourself at risk, you could take everything from a person, just like [the driver] did to me.”

“All of this could have been prevented if somebody else drove or if [the driver] waited until he wasn’t drunk, Raul would still be here and I would still have my daughter,” Soto said.

Soto will be recovering for months to come in the hospital, and worries about how she will care for her 5-year-old son Mason while she is unable to work. You can find a GoFundMe page for Estefania and her family here.

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