The mother of a young pregnant woman, killed by an alleged drunk driver on New Year’s Day, says her daughter was excited after getting married to a man she adored and starting a family.
“We were planning her baby shower,” Rhona Zamora said. “Now we're planning her funeral.”
21-year-old Elaina Ortiz, six months pregnant, was waiting for roadside assistance at 10 a.m. along Interstate-805, near Home Avenue in Webster.
Elaina and a friend had gone to help another friend who had a flat tire while headed to work. The three were sitting in a Mazda sedan waiting for a tow truck when a Chevy Tahoe SUV veered off the highway and hit the car.
The driver was allegedly drunk.
20-year-old Carol Silva and 24-year-old Ivan Martinez were seriously hurt. Elaina did not survive.
Carol's mother said she was the one who almost went to help her daughter, but Elaina insisted.
“She goes ‘I'll go. No I'll go.’ And my nephew said I know how to change a tire so I’ll change it,” Maria Martinez said. “It hurts, it hurts I'm sad for everybody.”
The victim’s husband described the beautiful wife he has lost.
“Funny, loving, caring person,” Frank Luquis-Ortiz said. “You see it over and over the same story. Someone drinks and drives and they end up surviving and killing a mother, a father, brother, sister, somebody's loved one.”
And somebody’s daughter.
“I'm going to miss her, I never thought it would happen to me. I don't know, I don't know what to do,” Elaina’s father Wilfred Velez said. “You can take someone else's life, just like that. Just like that.”
40-year-old Anthony Joseph Venegas was treated at the hospital and released into sheriff's custody -- arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving.
“This is what I had and lost, lost my baby to a drunk driver,” the victim’s mother said sobbing, holding a picture of her 21-year-old daughter.