By Mark Ellis —
A young Anaheim woman – eight months pregnant – was struck and killed by a woman with a history of DUIs, but her baby in the womb survived.
Yesenia Aguilar, 23, was taking an early evening walk with her husband when a jeep driven by Courtney Pandolfi, 40, jumped the curb and rumbled down the sidewalk for 300 feet, striking the beautiful young Disney greeter before it crashed into a car wash, according to the Orange County Register.
A witness at the scene, David Orozco, said he heard a loud bang and saw an SUV racing past him. He rushed to the scene of the collision and saw Aguilar lying on the ground with injuries to her head.
“It looked like she wasn’t breathing anymore,” Orozco told The Register. “The husband was checking the pulse, and when he did check, he screamed.”
Aguilar’s husband attempted CPR before she was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to The Register.
The young woman’s baby, named Adalyn Rose, was delivered by a cesarean section, and transferred to a neonatal intensive care unit at a hospital.
Driver Pandolfi has two previous DUIs. She suffered minor injuries and was hospitalized. Pandolfi was booked on suspicion of murder, driving under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury and for driving with a suspended license, according to The Register.
Aguilar and her husband, James Alvarez, 36, had been trying to have a baby together for the past two years, he said. He described her as a light-hearted woman with a wry wit.
“When she walked into the room, you could sense her presence,” Alvarez told The Register. “And when she left the room, you remembered that she was there.”
Alvarez described the incident as a nightmare. He was comforted in his grief by family and friends that surrounded him. They are all praying for the recovery of little Adalyn Rose.
Prayer were requested for the newborn, still “fighting for her life,” as of Wednesday evening, Alvarez said.
Aguilar had been a greeter at Disneyland for two years, park officials told The Register. “We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our cast member Yesenia Aguilar and we offer our deepest condolences to her family, friends and loved ones,” a Disney spokesperson said.
Her loved ones started a GoFundMe in her honor.