ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — A 40-year-old Garden Grove woman was charged Thursday with second-degree murder for a collision in Anaheim that killed a 23-year-old pregnant woman and left her baby fighting for her life.
Courtney Fritz Pandolfi, who has multiple DUI convictions according to the District Attorney, is accused of driving her Jeep onto the sidewalk and killing expectant mother Yesenia Lisette Aguilar who was exercising with her husband.
Pandolfi was also charged with a felony count of driving under the influence of a drug causing injury and a misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended or revoked license due to a DUI.
The collision occurred just after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on Katella Avenue, near Bayless Street, according to Sgt. Shane Carringer of the Anaheim Police Department.
Aguilar was pregnant, and her daughter was delivered via emergency C-section immediately after the crash. The baby remains in critical condition at UCI Medical Center.
Aguilar was pronounced deceased at the hospital.
Pandolfi was taken to UCI Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries prior to her arrest on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, DUI and driving on a suspended license, Carringer said.
Orange County court records show Pandolfi had drug cases in 2014 and 2012 but the charges have since been dismissed.
“I wish I could turn back time, even switch places,” said the baby’s father James Alvarez. “She did not deserve this for something so like irresponsible, so inconsiderate and I just hope justice will happen.”
On Thursday, a big milestone was reached for the couple’s baby as doctors removed her breathing tube. Alvarez said she is stabilized and now opens her eyes and recognizes his voice.
Calling the defendant a poster child for repeat DUI offenses, prosecutors asked that Pandolfi’s bail be increased from $1 million to $5 million, saying the public is at risk. The judge settled on $3 million.
Any witnesses were asked to call Anaheim police at 714-765-1474.
A Gofundme was set up for Aguilar’s family to raise money for both her funeral expenses and the baby’s medical costs.