ORANGE (CBSLA) — A 19-year-old walking home from work was struck and killed Wednesday night by a driver who has been previously convicted of drinking and driving. The driver has been booked on murder charges because of his past conviction.
Uriostegui was hit and killed by a driver in a pickup truck at Tustin Street and Heim Avenue as he was walking home from work just after 10 p.m. Wednesday.READ MORE: President Biden, Russian President Putin Meet In Geneva
“He was so close to home. Just one street, one street. He was so close,” Kathleen Uriostegui, the victims mother, told CBSLA’s Joy Benedict. “Just pray for us. Help us understand why. Just pray for my family.”
Orange police said the truck’s driver, 39-year-old Sitani Pinomi, ran a red light and hit Uriostegui in the crosswalk.
Pinomi stayed at the scene and was given a field sobriety test. He was later arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, but investigators say that wasn’t the end of it.
“He also had a suspended license, which was suspended for DUI. Upon further investigation, they saw that he had a conviction for DUI in 2007 in L.A. County. In addition to everything, the suspect had a felony warrant out of Sacramento for false imprisonment. Based on the totality of the circumstance, we did arrest him for murder,” said Sgt. Phil Mcmullin.
“He did not care about this kid’s life who meant so much to every single one of us and it’s just awful,” said co-worker Tara Seifert. “I can’t imagine what Aden had to go through, what his family is going through.”READ MORE: Crews Battle Brush Fire In Santa Fe Dam Area Of Irwindale
Uriostegui graduated from Villa Park High School in 2020 and worked at a nearby Starbucks, where he made a lot of friends. They gathered at the crash site to console one another and write messages on a green apron. The coffeeshop was close for the day so his coworkers could grieve.
“He was an awesome kid, he was always working on becoming friends with all of us and his customers we saw every day,” Seifert said.
The Uriostegui family was so moved by the apron and the gesture, they took it home with them.
Throughout the day Thursday, people had been visiting the crash site to remember Uriostegui. He leaves behind his parents, two brothers and his sister. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover funeral costs.
Pinomi is being held without bail.MORE NEWS: Councilman Bonin Blasts Recall Effort As 'Extravagant Waste Of Taxpayer Money' As Organizers Continue To Criticize
“I just hope he isn’t allowed to do this again,” Uriostegui’s mother said of Pinomi, “and doesn’t hurt another person or family.”