SOLVANG, Calif. - The Santa Ynez Valley remembers one of their own. Retired high school teacher Linda Wall, who was killed in a car crash more than a week ago, was given a proper goodbye by family and friends today.
"She was just pleasant and fun to be around," says Jo Ann Reck, a colleague of Wall's at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School.
"She was a happy person. I think that couldn't help but infect all of us," says Rita Cortez, one of Linda's sisters.
It was a solemn day for Wall's family and the Santa Ynez Valley community, but it was also full of fond memories of the 68-year-old teacher who retired last year after working 22 years at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School.
Mission Santa Ines was packed for the memorial. Family, friends, colleagues, and students came to pay their respects, more than a week after the tragic accident on Highway 246.
While stopped at a red light at the intersection in front of the Chumash Casino, Wall was rear-ended by 37-year-old Rebecca Sandoval, who was arrested at the scene on suspicion of DUI. Sandoval is now facing murder charges. Linda's sister Rita Cortez says the family was devastated by the news.
"Everyone was in shock for a few days, but it always helps to get together and talk about it," says Cortez.
For now, Linda's family is finding comfort in the outpouring of community support.
"It feels very supportive. I hope people take the kind memories of Linda and honor her by living their lives as happily as they can," says Cortez.
"This is the thing that makes me proud of the Santa Ynez Valley. Everybody supports one another," says Reck.
Sandoval was in court earlier this week. She faces 2nd degree murder and other DUI related charges. She did not enter a plea, and her arraignment was continued to next week.