The devastated husband of a 35-week pregnant woman who died after being hit in California by an alleged DUI driver revealed that the couple had been trying to have a child for two years.
Yesenia Lisette Aguilar, 23, died after repeat DUI offender Courtney Pandolfi, 40, plowed into her and husband James Alvarez while on a Tuesday night stroll in Anaheim.
Medical staff were able to deliver her miracle girl, Adalyn Rose, by caesarean section, but the newborn is now fighting for survival and is being checked for brain damage at UC Irvine Medical Center.
Heartbroken Alvarez prays that his daughter is healthy and describes her as ‘all I have left’.
He struggles to come to terms with the loss of his wife, who he says was “so excited” to finally become a mother.
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Yesenia Lisette Aguilar, 23, was taking a walk with her husband James Alvarez, pictured above together, in Anaheim on Tuesday night when an alleged DUI driver struck and killed her. She was 35 weeks pregnant and her newborn daughter is now fighting for survival
Adalyn Rose gave birth by Caesarean section after the accident. The newborn fights for survival and is checked for brain damage at UC Irvine Medical Center
“It’s like living in a nightmare and I hope to wake up soon,” Alverez said KTLA through tears on Wednesday.
But I accept that the reality is that she is no longer there. And my daughter is all I have left. ‘
He said the couple went for a walk Tuesday night on the advice of their doctor.
Courtney Pandolfi, 40, lost control of her jeep. She was booked in Orange County Jail on suspicion of murder, DUI drugs that caused bodily harm, and driving with a suspended driver’s license
They struggled to conceive for two years and took every possible measure to ensure that their daughter was born healthy and safe.
Just three months ago, the couple had held a gender reveal party when they celebrated the arrival of their daughter.
Still, their happy future was shattered when, according to Anaheim police, Pandolfi walked up the curb on Katella Avenue near Bayless Street, reportedly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Her white jeep barely missed Alvarez, but he spoke in horror that he couldn’t get his wife out of the way in time.
I held her hand. I tried to pull her towards me, ”he said.
“We’ve been trying for two years, and finally we’re blessed with a beautiful princess, and we’re a month away from her birth,” he added.
“And suddenly, within a second, my life changed.”
Alvarez said he’s now focused on making sure his daughter gets better and gets the medical care she needs to keep part of his wife with her.
‘I just pray she’s healthy. She’s the last thing I have of her, ”he said.
Yesenia Lisette Aguilar, who was 35 weeks pregnant, was beaten and killed in Anaheim on Tuesday night by a suspected DUI driver. Her husband said she was “so excited” to be a mother
Blood stains and debris can be seen on the sidewalk where the deadly incident took place
The fatal incident occurred at 7:37 PM on Katella Avenue and Bayless Street when a driver, later identified as 40-year-old Courtney Pandolfi (above), lost control of her vehicle.
The accident happened at 7:37 PM on Tuesday on Katella Avenue and Bayless Street in Anaheim, California.
Mother-to-be Aguilar, who worked at Disneyland, was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center and initially admitted to critical condition before pronouncing dead.
Alvarez described Aguilar as ‘a beloved daughter, sister, wife, aunt and friend’.
A GoFundMe was founded in her honor and raised more than $ 88,000 on Thursday morning.
“ We ask you to keep Adalyn Rose (Yesenia’s daughter) and her family in your prayers, ” reads the page that will cover the young woman’s funeral, as well as medical expenses.
Yesenia Lisette Aguilar, 23, died Tuesday shortly after the Anaheim incident. She was eight months pregnant and medical personnel were able to save her daughter Adalyn Rose. Husband James Alvarez revealed how the couple struggled to conceive for two years
Husband James Alvarez revealed that the couple had been trying to have a baby for two years
The young couple were ‘excited’ to become parents after a long struggle to conceive
Pandolfi, meanwhile, has been taken to hospital with minor to moderate injuries. Police say she appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The 40-year-old from Garden Grove has two previous DUI offenses and was driving with a suspended driver’s license, police said.
Pandolfi was arrested in hospital for manslaughter by vehicle and booked into the Orange County Jail on charges of murder, DUI drugs that caused bodily harm and driving with a suspended driver’s license, police said.
They added that, pending a thorough investigation, the suspect may also be “ facing a murder charge. ”
Pandolfi is being held in the Orange County Jail on $ 1 million bail.
A troubled man is comforted by the police and bystanders on the spot. His identity is unclear
Pandolfi, who was driving a white jeep, jumped over the curb and hit the expectant mother, 23, who was walking on the sidewalk with her husband, Anaheim police said.
Pandolfi, meanwhile, has been taken to hospital with minor to moderate injuries. Police say she appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The 40-year-old from Garden Grove has two previous DUI offenses and drove with a suspended driver’s license, police said
Witness David Oroczo said he jumped out of his car and ran to the scene of the accident after hearing a loud thump.
“When I got there, I saw a lady on the floor who looked pregnant – her head was up,” he said.
“The man checked, I think, her pulse and when he checked, he screamed,” Oroczo added, chillingly.
Other witnesses from a nearby Taco Bell also rushed to the woman’s aid. Bystanders performed CPR on the expectant mother until firefighters arrived on the scene.
The area where the incident took place was closed while authorities were investigating the scene.
Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call the Anaheim Police Department at 714-765-1900.