A 59-year-old woman was in bed at her Pomona home when a suspected drunken driver lost control and crashed into her bedroom Thursday night.
Fire crews tried to save Yolanda Bozonier after receiving a call around 9:20 p.m. about a vehicle into a home on Colony Drive near Hamilton Boulevard, the Pomona Police Department said. But she was pronounced dead at the scene.
“It’s tragic that a drunk driver could drive a car into your home in your bedroom when you’re asleep,” her sister Diane Guerena said.
Neighbors say the driver, who police later identified as 33-year-old Carmelino Ordonez, attempted to run away but they chased after him and held him down. He was determined to be under the influence of alcohol, police said.
Ordonez was later arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI and driving without a license, according to the department.
“I feel bad for that guy… He’s gonna have to live with this for the rest of his life,” Guerena said.
The family says it’s not the first time a car has crashed onto the property. It’s happened at least twice before, and once at a neighbor’s house, they said.
“We can’t have this tragedy happen again. The city can’t allow this,” Guerena said. “Please do something about this. For twelve years, the neighborhood watch has tried to make changes.”
Investigators determined the vehicle, a Chrysler PT Cruiser, had been traveling at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control and crashed into the home.
Bozonier, who delivered mail for the Azusa school district, has two children and three grandkids. Her sisters say the grandkids would normally be in bed with her, but at the moment of the incident, they were in the next room.
“My niece was in the restroom bathing her daughter… It’s one small wall,” Bozonier’s other sister Sylvia Almaguer-Miller said.
“She could’ve had her grandkids with her in that bed, and they would’ve died,” Guerena added.
Almaguer-Miller describes her older sister as an artistic, creative and “very humble” woman.
“It was nothing extravagant with her. She didn’t need the big house. She loved living a free-spirited, simple life. That’s what she was all about. She loved and she loved hard,” Guerena said.
Her husband of 32 year was working a night shift when the crash occurred.
“[She was] a wife that loved her husband to death. And he loved her to death,” Guerena added.
Throughout the day Friday, people dropped off candles, flowers and balloons in memoriam.
“She was a beautiful person inside and out. And the way she died… shouldn’t have happened,” Guerena said.
Family and friends have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral expenses.