Couple: Wrong-way driver nearly hit them before crash that killed coach

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Couple says wrong-way driver nearly hit them before fatal crash. (KTRK)

A couple may have the answer to questions investigators and viewers have been asking since a wrong-way crash on the Beltway claimed the life of a beloved high school coach and left his wife with serious injuries: How long was the suspect, Gerardo Luna, going the wrong direction and where did he get on?

Van and Julie Huynh told Eyewitness News he nearly hit them as they exited at West Airport. This is the only ramp between the intersection and where the crash happened just about a mile and a half up the road.

They were driving home early Sunday morning when she noticed headlights in the distance.

"I turned to Van, my husband, and I said honey why that guy going the wrong way and then my husband said 'you have to go to the right lane...go!'" Julie Huynh said.

This was around 1:30 a.m. on the feeder road near the West Airport exit. Within seconds, the black ford F-150 passed the couple.

RELATED: Beloved high school coach killed in wrong-way crash


"I say OK let me call police so at least they can stop him on the way," Van Huynh said. "But the moment I picked up my phone, it ran out of battery."

A few moments later, investigators said Gerardo Gonzalez Luna slammed head-on into Adrian Byrd's Mercedes vehicle. The Huyns said they heard sirens a few minutes after they got home and hoped that it was not the guy they'd just seen, but when they saw the news they realized it was.

Adrian Byrd, a well-known football and track coach, died at the hospital. His wife, Veronnia, remains at Memorial Hermann and in fair condition.

Investigators said there were open Bud Light containers in Luna's truck and he was nearly three times the legal limit.
"I feel that the moment I saw the truck going the wrong way, I noticed we just escaped. God just saved us," added Van Huynh.

One of Luna's relatives said he questions the official version of events and wants to see video of him going the wrong way. It's unclear whether that video exists.

Charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault, Luna remains in the hospital under 24-hour deputy watch until he's well enough to be transferred to jail.

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Related Topics:
wrong waydwicar crashtraffic fatalitiesHouston
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