RAMONA, Calif. -- The husband of a pregnant woman killed when her car struck a tree after being rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver in Ramona testified Tuesday that he saw the accident in his rear-view mirror.
Christian Foderingham's testimony came as a preliminary hearing got underway for Andrew Milonis, charged with murder, DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the May 14 death of 29-year-old Jessica Foderingham, who was eight months pregnant.
The victim's husband testified that his wife was following him in her own car on San Vincente Road on the way to her grandmother's house on Mother's Day when he heard a loud bang, saw an SUV swerve onto a sidewalk and saw his wife's 2016 Dodge Dart slam into a tree in the center median.
"It felt like my heart stopped," he said. "I ran back to her car."
Christian Foderingham, a U.S. Marine, said he cut off the seat belt holding his wife's lifeless body in place and pulled her out of the car. Jessica Foderingham and her unborn daughter were pronounced dead later at a hospital.
The husband said the force of the accident made it look like someone had taken a sledgehammer to his wife's lower body.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Milonis was heading east on San Vicente Road when his 2011 GMC Yukon pickup rear-ended the victim's car near Arena Drive about 6:45 p.m.
Milonis fled following the collision, then abandoned his vehicle about a mile away and called for a Lyft driver to give him a ride to a bar on Main Street, CHP public-affairs Officer Kevin Pearlstein said. Deputies found him at the tavern about an hour later and arrested him.
According to court testimony, Milonis was arrested for DUI six months before the fatal accident when he allegedly drove drunk and hit a fence.
The preliminary hearing will continue Wednesday. When it's over, Judge John Thompson will decide whether enough evidence was presented to order Milonis to stand trial. The defendant faces 40 years to life in prison if convicted.