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Woman Learning To Drive Facing Charges In Death Of Child

By Tom Mustin

LAFAYETTE, Colo. (CBS4) - Wilfredo Cardoza fought back tears as he described the freak accident that killed his 21-month-old daughter, Aelin.

"He just feels destroyed," his sister-in-law Lydia Cardoza told CBS4's Tom Mustin.

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CBS4's Tom Mustin interviews Wilfredo Cardoza (credit: CBS)

Lydia translated for CBS4, as Wilfredo talked about the crash that led to the arrest of Blanca Sandoval, and ended the life of his little girl.

Blanca Cecilia Sandoval
Blanca Cecilia Sandoval (credit: Boulder County Sheriff's Office)

Police say Sunday, Sandoval, 44, had been learning how to drive a stick shift in the parking lot outside Cardoza's Lafayette home. At the same time, Wilfedo had been washing his new Honda CR-V. Both his daughters were inside the vehicle, with the doors open, and Aelin was in the back seat.

He says Sandoval put her car in reverse and accidentally hit the accelerator … crashing in to the Honda which launched Aelin from the car.

"When she fell he just grabbed her and was super scared. She just hugged him. He picked her up and said to God to help her," said Lydia.

Aelin died hours later at the hospital. Sandoval is facing careless driving charges.

aelin cardoza
Aelin Cardoza (credit: GoFundMe)

Wilfredo showed CBS4 video of his daughter learning to walk.

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CBS4's Tom Mustin interviews Wilfredo Cardoza and his sister-in-law Lydia Cardoza (credit: CBS)

He says she loved to hug him, and brought a smile to his face, "Little cute girl. So energetic. She just makes us laugh."

Wilfredo says a light has gone out of his life. He doesn't know how he'll go on without his daughter... Right now he and his family are remembering the short life of a beautiful little girl, and trying to find forgiveness.

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Aelin Cardoza (credit: CBS)

"Right now it's difficult to decide," said Wilfredo.

Lafayette police say Sandoval has been cooperative and is free on bond. She faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail. Her court date has not been set.

GoFundMe page has been set up to pay for Aelin Cardoza's funeral expenses.

Tom Mustin is CBS4's Weekend Anchor. He has been with CBS4 since 2002, and is always looking for great story ideas. Connect with Tom on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @TomCBS4.

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