The husband of Yesenia Lisette Aguilar — the 23-year-old pregnant woman killed last week by an alleged drunk driver as the couple was walking down an Anaheim, California, sidewalk — is speaking out for the first time about the tragic night he lost the love of his life.
On the evening of August 11, Aguilar was allegedly struck by a Jeep SUV being driven by Courtney Pandolfi, 40. According to police, the vehicle jumped the curb and drove along the sidewalk, narrowly missing Aguilar’s husband, James Alvarez.
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At the time of the fatal incident, Aguilar — who worked as a cast member at Disneyland, KTLA reports — was about 35 weeks pregnant. She was rushed to the UCI Medical Center in Orange, where doctors pronounced her dead before delivering her baby via cesarean section.
The newborn girl, named Adalyn Rose, is in critical condition at UCI’s neonatal intensive care unit.
“It’s like I’m living a nightmare and I’m hoping to wake up soon,” a tearful Alvarez told KTLA last week. “But I’m accepting the reality is she’s gone. And my daughter is the only thing that I have left.”
Alvarez told KTLA he was holding his wife’s hand when the Jeep SUV hit her.
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Pandolfi was taken to the same hospital for minor injuries, and she was detained on single counts of vehicular manslaughter, felony driving under the influence, and driving on a suspended license.
Eventually, those charges were upgraded to murder and felony driving under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury, along with the original driving on a suspended license count.
Courtney Fritz Pandolfi
Anaheim Police Department
Police said she had previous DUI arrests. According to the OC Register, Pandolfi was convicted of DUI in 2008, 2015, and 2016.
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Pandolfi is being held on $1 million bail, according to Anaheim police. It was unclear Monday if she had entered pleas to the charges against her or if she has an attorney who could speak on her behalf.
According to the KTLA report, Alvarez said he and his wife had been trying for a baby for some time.
“I’m just praying that she is healthy,” he said. “She’s the last thing I have from her. We’ve been trying for two years, and finally we’re blessed to have a beautiful princess, and we’re a month away from her birth. And all of a sudden, out of a second, my life changed.”