EL CAJON, Calif. — A jury Tuesday afternoon began deliberating the fate of an alleged drunken driver accused of rear-ending a pregnant woman’s car in Ramona two years ago, killing the woman and her unborn child.
Andrew Milonis, 46, is charged with two counts each of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run and drunken driving in the Mother’s Day 2017 crash that killed 29-year-old Jessica Foderingham and her unborn daughter, who she and her husband had planned to name Ayanna.
Foderingham was eight months pregnant when her Dodge Dart was hit, sending it careening into a tree in the center median on San Vicente Road about 6:45 p.m. on May 14, 2017.
Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans said in her opening statement that Milonis’ blood-alcohol content was nearly quadruple the legal limit when his SUV slammed into the back of Foderingham’s car. Evans said Milonis had been drinking throughout the day, downing at least seven drinks at a local bar before he got behind the wheel of his GMC Yukon.
The prosecutor said a bartender recommended that Milonis arrange a Lyft ride to get home, but he ignored the advice. Milonis struck a tree and multiple telephone poles before crashing into Foderingham’s car, Evans said.
After the crash, Milonis continued driving to a nearby hotel, where employees called a Lyft driver for him, Evans said. When the Lyft driver arrived and asked Milonis where he wanted to go, the defendant told the driver something to the effect of, “Anywhere I can get a drink,” according to Evans.
He was driven to a bar on Main Street, where sheriff’s deputies arrested him shortly after he arrived. When tested, he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.20, but Evans alleged it was above 0.30 at the time of the crash — well above the 0.08 legal limit.
The prosecutor told jurors the impact of the crash left a partial imprint from Milonis’ license plate on the back of Foderingham’s car, and there was no evidence of mechanical issues on either vehicle that might have contributed factors to the crash.
Six months earlier, Milonis has been arrested on suspicion of DUI for allegedly driving drunk and hitting a neighbor’s fence before going home, according to Evans, who said he suffered a minor head injury in that crash and had a 0.28 blood alcohol content at the time.
Milonis’ attorney, Ward Clay, told jurors the crash was “a tragic accident” but said Milonis was not responsible or near the crash scene when it occurred.
“No one witnessed exactly how the accident happened,” Clay said.
The attorney also said the California Highway Patrol “made major mistakes” in its investigation of the case, and that “critical, forensic evidence” had been lost or destroyed, though he did not specify what evidence he was referring to.
Clay said he expected the jury to be “angry and want to hold someone responsible. But that person is not in this courtroom.”