The evening of June 25, 2016, was meant to be a celebration for Tanya McDonough’s 33rd birthday.
Throughout the night and early the next morning, friends and neighbors filed in and out of a block party taking place between McDonough’s home and that of her neighbor, Ryan Heineman, witnesses testified Wednesday.
Several people claimed to have seen Heineman, 36, pour himself alcoholic drinks and take vodka Jell-O shots in the hours leading up to a single-vehicle crash that killed McDonough, formerly of McHenry and Fox Lake.
Heineman has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence in connection with McDonough’s death. His trial began with jury selection Tuesday and is expected to continue until early next week, prosecutors said.
Shortly after Heineman allegedly crashed his Jeep into a tree on Route 12 east of Sunset Road, he called McDonough’s aunt, Michelle Moberg, to tell her what happened. Heineman, of Spring Grove, did not know where he was and reported hearing a woman screaming, Moberg testified.
“She was screaming my name,” Moberg said.
Friends and family called the police and searched for the crash for hours without success.
A passing driver eventually discovered the crash about 6 a.m. Police have said Heineman’s blood-alcohol content was 0.150 percent at the time.
Heineman’s attorney, Martin Lascola, has declined to comment while the trial is ongoing.