ANAHEIM, Calif. - A 40-year-old woman has been charged with murder for driving under the influence when she hit and killed a pregnant woman in Anaheim.
The deadly collision occurred just after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on Katella Avenue, near Bayless Street.
The victim, 23-year-old Yesenia Lisette Aguilar who was 35 weeks pregnant with a girl, was walking with her husband when a Jeep jumped the curb and struck her.
Aguilar was taken to the hospital where doctors performed an emergency C-Section to deliver her baby. Unfortunately, Aguilar passed away, the baby girl is now in critical condition, fighting for her life in the hospital.
The suspected DUI driver has been identified as 40-year-old Courtney Fritz Pandolfi of Garden Grove. She has been charged with one felony count of murder, one felony count of driving under the influence of drugs causing injury, and one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license.
According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, she faces a maximum sentence of life if convicted on all charges.
The DA’s office says Pandolfi had three prior DUI convictions, the first being in 2008, then 2015, and in 2016.
“This is beyond shocking and it is absolutely reprehensible. There is no reason why a 23-year-old mother is dead and her daughter will grow up without ever seeing her mother’s smile or hearing her voice,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “This was 100 percent preventable. This woman knew the consequences of driving under the influence and she did it anyway.”
In California, drivers convicted of driving under the influence are required to be given what is known as a ‘Watson advisement’. That informs them that if they kill someone while driving under the influence they can be charged with murder.
Spitzer says Pandolfi was given the Watson advisement all three times.