Newborn photoshoot honors mother killed in alleged DUI crash at 35 weeks pregnant

Less than a month after taking her maternity photos, 23-year-old Yesenia Aguilar was tragically killed when she was struck by a driver who was allegedly driving under the influence in Anaheim, California. She was 35 months pregnant with her first child when she was struck by a driver accused of being under the influence. 

Weeks after the August 11 crash, Aguilar’s husband, James Alvarez, honored her with something she always wanted: a newborn photoshoot.

Aguilar was walking on a sidewalk when she was hit, authorities said, and doctors were able to deliver her baby via emergency C-section after the accident, CBS Los Angeles reports. The baby, a girl named Adalyn Rose, was able to go home about three weeks later.

Alvarez has posted extensively on Instagram about losing his wife and raising Adalyn as a single dad. Last month, he posted a sweet video of his newborn getting her photo taken by a professional photographer. 

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I’m truly blessed to have such an amazing daughter. She’s shown me so much so far. She taught me to keep fighting and never give up. She’s shown me how precious life is. She made me the father I am today. I can’t wait for the many more lessons she will teach me in the future. I know I don’t have my beautiful wife with me, but I’m ready for this journey. @xv_photography made my wife’s dream come true by fulfilling my wife’s desire to do a newborn shoot. I know she’s not here physically to experience this moment with me but I know she’s smiling right now and proud to have our beautiful daughter. I will always miss my wife but every time I’ll look at my daughter, she will be a constant remind of love we had together. #yeseniaaguilar #restinpeace #iloveyou #wifey #newbornphotography #photography #babygirl #beautiful #gorgeous #makeup #kkwbeauty #fentybeauty #morphe #jaquelinehillpalette #baby #photoshoot #princess #blessed

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“My wife always wanted to do a newborn photoshoot but unfortunately she will never experience this special moment,” Alvarez wrote on Instagram. “I know she was there spiritual [sic] and I certainly know she was extremely happy, her dreams were fulfilled.”

Grisel Leyva of X & V Photography, who took Aguilar’s maternity photos, also took Adalyn’s newborn photos. Alvarez also shared several shots from the photoshoot, which included sweet tributes to his wife. In one photo, Adalyn holds a photo of her mother that was taken at her maternity shoot. 

Alvarez also shared a photoshopped image of himself, his wife and his baby together. “[I’m] here standing strong and telling you to please don’t drink and drive,” he wrote in the caption. “With irresponsible actions can take someone life and let me tell you, I wish this horrific pain upon no one. I lost my wife but most of all, my daughter will never know her mother. Please do the right thing and be responsible.”

In another photo Alvarez shared, Adalyn is surrounded by makeup, since her mother was studying to be a cosmetologist when she died.

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I did another post to show how we represented my wife in the newborn photoshoot today. First image, @xv_photography had the idea to use a flower during our maternity shoot. We decided to use the same idea on the newborn shoot. Left side, shows the gift of life that my wife wanted to give to my daughter. Right side, shows how my daughter received the gift of life from my wife. Second image, @xv_photography used my wife’s veil as a canopy which represents how she’s always watching over my daughter. These images means so much to me because my wife will never be forgotten. She gave her life to protect our daughter so I’ll do anything in my power to honor my wife and give the best life to my daughter ❤️ #newbornphotoshoot #photography #newborn #babygirl #beautiful #gorgeous #maternityshoot #itallconnects #mywife #restinpeace #iloveyou #fromthemoonandback #yeseniaaguilar #adalynrose #blessed #myangel #protectingus

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“I’m truly blessed to have such an amazing daughter,” Alvarez wrote in the caption. “She’s shown me so much so far. She taught me to keep fighting and never give up. She’s shown me how precious life is. She made me the father I am today.”

He said he can’t wait for the lessons Adalyn teaches him in the future. “I know [my wife is] not here physically to experience this moment with me but I know she’s smiling right now and proud to have our beautiful daughter,” his post continued. “I will always miss my wife but every time I’ll look at my daughter, she will be a constant reminder of love we had together.”

The driver who struck Aguilar, identified as 40-year-old Courtney Fritz Pandolfi, had multiple DUI convictions, The Orange County District Attorney’s Office reported, according to CBS Los Angeles. Pandolfi was charged with second-degree murder, 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.

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