Lompoc Woman Faces Murder Charges in Death of Retired Santa Ynez Teacher

Traffic Accident Near Chumash Casino Killed 68-Year Old Linda Wall

Christian Hartnett, KCOY Central Coast News Reporter, ChristianHartnett@kcoy.com
POSTED: 06:46 PM PST Dec 21, 2013    UPDATED: 12:03 PM PST Dec 23, 2013 
SANTA YNEZ, Calif. -

The driver who struck a vehicle driven by a retired Santa Ynez teacher Linda Wall will face a charge of felony murder.  Linda Wall, 68, died from injuries after her vehicle was rear-ended.

On Monday the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's office charged Lompoc resident Rebecca Cristal Sandoval, 37, with murder.

Sandoval appeared in Santa Maria courtroom Monday.  The accident happened in front of the Chumash Casino Thursday.  

Sandoval also faces charges of Felony Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated and Felony Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Causing Bodily Injury.  Sandoval received a similar charge for driving under the influence of drugs after an incident in July, 2013.

Wall was remembered over the weekend by her former students and colleagues, who shared fond memories of her in the classroom.  A single vase of flowers and a note honoring her life was placed at the scene of the accident.

In 2012, after 22 years of teaching foreign languages, Wall retired from Santa Ynez High School, just up the road from the accident scene. The marquee at the school paid tribute to someone colleagues say was always smiling and friendly.  Her former principal gave Wall high praise, and students said she was great at her job.

"She was very nice, she would help a lot with the students. If you needed help, she'd be there. I really liked her," said Alfonso Terrazas, a former student.

Another former student, Beth Wickholm, said "if you didn't understand something, she was really good at explaining it to you."