A 33-year-old Escondido man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to drunken driving and hit-and-run charges in connection with a crash that seriously injured a woman and led to the death of her unborn child.
Jose Uriostegui was arrested after a June 5 crash at the intersection of state Route 78 and Broadway in Escondido. Police said Uriostegui's Ford F-150 truck ran a red light and struck a Nissan Altima on the driver's side.
According to police, after the 2 a.m. crash, Uriostegui tried to flee the scene, but two witnesses held him for officers.
The Altima's driver, 27-year-old Lucrecia Vasquez remains in critical condition at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. Hospital officials said: "Unfortunately, her unborn son, who would have been named Santiago, did not survive the crash and died in utero."
Vasquez was six months pregnant, according to hospital officials. A 24-year-old female passenger was hospitalized with broken ribs, 10News learned.
Family members said Vasquez has shown improvement.
Her stepdaughter, Karen Pascualon, said, "She's better, still critical condition but getting a lot better. She is opening her eyes. She moves her foot every once in a while, maybe a little finger move."
Pascualon added surgeons have been very busy.
"We're in for six surgeries right now; still have a couple more this week. She smiles every once in a while; tries to talk, but she can't because she has all these tubes in her mouth," she said.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses for Santiago and other expenses the family is facing in light of the crash.
"We're grieving for the loss of my little brother, Santiago. We had a name for him. We're hoping she'll pull through," said Pascualon.
Meanwhile, Uriostegui faces 10 years and four months in prison if he is convicted. He is being held on $1 million bail.
10News learned no charges will be filed against Uriostegui for the loss of Vasquez's baby.