A suspected DUI driver is behind bars after authorities say she plowed her SUV into a pregnant mother walking along the sidewalk, killing the 23-year-old and leaving the woman’s baby in critical condition.
Yesenia Aguilar had been taking a nightly stroll down the sidewalk with her husband around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night when a white Jeep SUV traveling eastbound “jumped” the curb and began driving down the sidewalk, fatally striking Aguilar and “narrowly” missing her husband, according to a statement from Anaheim Police.
Aguilar—who had been an employee at Disneyland—was 35 weeks pregnant.
“I tried to dodge it, and I tried to grab her hand and I lost my grip,” her emotional husband James Alvarez later told local station KNBC.
Aguilar was taken to UCI Medical Center in the City of Orange, where she underwent an emergency C-section to save the baby. The baby girl—named Adalyn Rose—was listed in critical condition in the neonatal intensive care unit, police said.
“I’m just praying to God right now,” Alvarez said of his tiny daughter. “She’s the only one I have left of her, of my wife.”
Police identified the driver of the Jeep SUV as 40-year-old Courtney Pandolfi, of Garden Grove.
Pandolfi was transported to the hospital for “minor injuries” before she was placed under arrest for murder, felony driving under the influence, and driving on a suspended license, police said.
According to Anaheim Police, Pandolfi already had two prior DUI arrests.
Court documents show a criminal history for Pandolfi going back at least two decades, KNBC reports. Although she had been sentenced to jail time in the past, she always had her sentenced stayed.
Pandolfi had her driver’s license suspended in 2016.
Those who knew Aguilar are now left grieving the sudden loss.
“I’m living a nightmare. I just want to wake up. I just want to wake up but it’s not,” her husband said. “She’s gone. She’s gone in a second.”
Alvarez told the local station the worst part of his despair was knowing his wife would never get to meet their child.
Disneyland—where Aguilar worked—also extended their condolences to the family.
“We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our cast member Yesenia Aguilar and we offer our deepest condolences to her family, friends and loved ones,” a Disneyland Resort spokesperson told Oxygen.com in a statement.
Pandolfi is currently being held on a $1 million bond, according to KABC.
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