On the night his friend and co-worker died, Maoto Esau doesn’t remember seeing the approaching car.
It was late, 30 minutes past midnight on July 10. Esau and Dante Fair, 29, were on their way home from work at the H-E-B distribution center in Temple.
Esau, driving his 2006 Acura TL, collided head-on with a car, a Hyundai Tiburon, going the wrong direction on U.S. Highway 190.
The driver of the Tiburon, 29-year-old Dana Tackett, was charged Tuesday with intoxicated manslaughter with a vehicle, said Nolanville Police Chief Gary L. Kent.
The brutal crash occurred on the U.S. 190 overpass in Nolanville, just minutes away from Esau’s home in Harker Heights. He was planning on dropping off Fair in Killeen before heading home.
It’s unclear if the woman even had her headlights on, Esau said.
All he remembers is driving on U.S. 190, approaching the Nolanville overpass … and then blackness.
He woke up as an emergency crew was pulling him out of the car.
“I just blacked out on impact,” said Esau, still recovering from the crash this week.
Kent said a warrant was issued for Tackett, and police expected to arrest her by sometime last night.
Kent said weeks passed between the time of the accident and the arrest because authorities had to thoroughly investigate the accident.
Family members of the victims welcomed the news that a charge had been filed.
“It’s just, more or less, relief,” said Esau’s wife, Melissa.
A criminal charge represents that Tackett is aware of the pain she caused multiple families, Melissa Esau said.
“It’s all because she made a horrible, horrible, stupid decision,” Melissa Esau said.
An intoxicated manslaughter conviction can carry a sentence of up to 20 years.
Fair leaves behind a wife and a 6-year-old son.