Tien Condell said she had failed to pay attention to the gas needle and ran out of fuel in the middle of Highway 50 on Sunday.
Strangers helped push her Mini Cooper to the side of the freeway, just east of Howe Avenue, and she phoned her husband, David Condell, for help.
After he arrived with a canister of gas and refueled her Mini Cooper, the couple went back into their respective vehicles. From his cellphone, David Condell told his wife to start the car and try the gas pedal.
“The next thing I know, we both got hit,” Tien Condell, 39, recalled Monday in an interview with The Sacramento Bee.
The California Highway Patrol said Joseph Anthony Short, 34, of Sacramento allowed his vehicle to drift onto the shoulder and crash into David Condell’s stopped vehicle.
The impact pushed Condell’s Honda Accord into his wife’s Mini Cooper. Short’s vehicle continued across the highway, where it struck a vehicle traveling east in the far left lane.
Tien Condell survived the four-vehicle collision with moderate injuries, but David Condell, 51, was pronounced dead at 5:55 p.m. Sunday.
“I’m still dealing with the fact that he’s no longer with me,” Tien Condell said..
Short was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury or death. He remains held at Sacramento County Main Jail in lieu of $310,000 in bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.
Sacramento Superior Court records show Short pleaded no contest to a charge of driving under the influence in 2010.