James Alvarez took his three-week-old daughter Adalyn home alone after his wife Yesenia Lisette Aguilar was struck by a car and died. She was 35 weeks pregnant and Adalyn miraculously survived
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James Alvarez with his little girl in hospital
A grieving father has taken his newborn baby home alone after his wife was killed by a driver who mounted a pavement.
James Alvarez, 36, says it is still "truly hard to believe she’s gone" following the death of partner Yesenia Lisette Aguilar.
The 23-year-old was rushed to hospital after being struck by Courtney Pandolfi's Jeep but didn't survive.
Pandolfi was allegedly under the influence of drugs.
Yesenia was walking with James, who was "narrowly missed" by the allegedly out of control 4×4, according to police in Anaheim, southern California.
A witness said James began screaming after failing to find a pulse – while people from a nearby Taco Bell reportedly performed CPR.
Yesenia was 35 weeks pregnant when she died. Daughter Adalyn Rose survived after she was delivered from an emergency C-section on August 11.
Yesenia Aguilar died in hospital 35 weeks pregnant
The newborn was discharged from hospital on Monday.
James admitted he had bittersweet feelings about taking Adalyn home.
He told 7News.com : “I miss my wife.
“She should be here with us. She should be here for all the beautiful moments.
“I ask her to give me strength and to guide me to best the best father that I can be,” Alvarez said.
“She would have been so good at this.
“She would know exactly what to do in every situation.”
Yesenia was rushed to UC Irvine Medical Center shortly after the incident, but she died soon after.
Courtney Pandolfi has been charged with murder
(Image: Anaheim Police Dept.)
Witness David Oroczo said: "When I got over there, I noticed a lady on the ground who looked pregnant – her head was banged up.
"The husband was, I think, checking her pulse and when he checked, he screamed."
Mr Oroczo had rushed to the scene after hearing a loud crash sound from his car.
James also paid an emotional tribute to his wife on Facebook, while Adalyn was fighting for her life.
He said: "Thank you for everyone’s prayers and support. I never expected so much love and support. Our families are truly thankful. We can’t thank every single one that prayed for my loving wife and our beautiful daughter. My wife was taken so fast.
"I lost my world in one second. We lost a daughter, a mother, a cast member, a friend, a best friend, and a wife. We are still devastated and truly hard to believe she’s gone. We have our daughter that is fighting for her life just like her mother did.
"We increased the gofundme for her funeral cost but also for our daughter. All funds will cover funeral expenses and everything after is going to our daughter and her future.
"I want our daughter to have the best life possible with all the support. Thank you for keeping my wife and daughter in your prayers."
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Ms Aguilar's friends to help with funeral and medical costs. Nearly $120,000 has so far been raised.
Pandolfi, 40 – who has two prior DUI offences – was also taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries.
She has been charged with murder, one count of driving under the influence of drugs causing injury, and one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license.
If she is convicted, Pandolfi faces the maximum life sentence, KNBC reports.
In a written statement, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said: “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 smile or hearing her voice.
“This was 100 per cent preventable.
“This woman knew the consequences of driving under the influence and she did it anyway.”