CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The trial for a deadly drunk driving case that shocked the Queen City began Monday with explosive testimony.

Witnesses said 32-year-old Gregory Wheeling was speeding when he hit and killed 28-year-old Kelli Putnam on South Boulevard in January 2016. The defendant was accused of leaving a bar after a Panthers game and driving drunk.

Passengers said Wheeling had a designated driver but decided at the last minute he wanted to drive his own car. They instantly feared for their own safety.

"I couldn't even look out the front window, I was scared," one passenger said.

Witnesses who saw the crash painted a gruesome picture of the moment the waitress from Mac's Speed Shop was hit.

One person said, "I saw her go into the air." Another testified, "I told my daughter to look the other way." A third revealed, "I sat on the sidewalk and proceeded to cry and scream."

The jury is expected to visit the scene of the crash, and when that happens, that area of South Boulevard in the South End will be shut down for at least thirty minutes.

Wheeling was also charged with DWI in June 2009.