Crime, Fire + Courts

Son: Wrong-way driver may have been suicidal

By March 2, 2011

The son of a Davis woman who was killed Monday after driving her vehicle the wrong way on Highway 113 said his mother may have taken her own life.

Teresa Sedillo, 64, had lived in Yolo County for more than 25 years and knew its roadways well, Ivan Galindo said in a phone interview Wednesday from his San Diego home.

“She was a very savvy driver, a smart driver,” said Galindo, 44, one of Sedillo’s five children.

Yolo County coroner’s officials say it appears alcohol and drugs were not factors in the crash near Woodland’s Gibson Road, though it will take several weeks before toxicology tests are complete.

But Sedillo had experienced the loss of her husband within the last year, and Galindo said relatives did not approve of her new boyfriend, who was a passenger in the Toyota Highlander driven by Galindo when the crash occurred. There were other pressures building within the family as well.

“Maybe my mom said, ‘What purpose do I have to live?’ ” Galindo said.

The California Highway Patrol, which is investigating the collision, had no new information as of Wednesday. Initial reports indicated Sedillo made a U-turn and drove south on northbound Highway 113, sideswiping a minivan before striking a Ford Explorer head-on.

The Explorer’s driver and Sedillo’s passenger, Jose Gonzalez, suffered serious injuries in the crash. Sedillo died at the scene of blunt-force trauma to her head, neck and left leg, Chief Deputy Coroner Robert LaBrash said.

Neither Sedillo nor Gonzalez were wearing seat belts, something that Galindo said he also found unusual.

“She always wore her seat belt,” said Galindo, who described his mother as a strict disciplinarian who insisted that her children avoid drugs, tattoos and anything else that would make others frown upon them.

“She wanted the best for us,” Galindo said. “She had high expectations.”

Sedillo suffered through two abusive marriages after moving her family from Mexico City to California, according to Galindo, who said he and his siblings feared her current relationship was heading the same way.

“My mom was screaming out for help, but nobody listened to her,” Galindo said. “I turned my back on her, too.”

Galindo said he recently asked his mother to come live with his family in San Diego, but she refused. He had not spoken to her for more than a month when he learned of her death Monday evening.

“Nobody’s perfect in this world, and she had her ups and downs in life,” Galindo said. “But you’d never see her mad at society, and she always had a smile on her face.”

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or (530) 747-8048. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com

Lauren Keene

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