A candlelight vigil for the three young people who died in the Sunday crash at Porter and Pitt School Roads will be held tonight, at 7:30 p.m., in Andrews Park in Vacaville. Last night, some of them gathered at the intersection in rural Dixon to begin the long healing process, attempting to understand the accident that took the lives of their loved ones.
Tracy Lynne Sabados, 19, who had a Corning address on her driver’s license was actually living in Vacaville and had lived in Dixon for several years earlier with her family. She was one of six siblings.
On Sunday, Sabados had dropped off her 4-year-old son with his grandmother and had just left a girlfriend’s house in Vacaville who had not been able to ride with her because the woman had not been able to get a babysitter for her own child. Sabados was heading up to a popular car show in Woodland with her friends, Angelina Christina De Los Reyes, 17, and Billy Esteben Jaimes, 23, also from Vacaville. Sabados and De Los Reyes had grown up together.
For Sabados siblings, it is another tragedy to live through.
“Our childhood wasn’t the greatest,” said Shane Latham, Sabados’s 22-year-old brother, who has worked two years as a server at a convalescent home in Sacramento. My brothers and sisters were taken away from our mother because of a conviction when we were younger and each of us have had major difficulties in life since,” he said.
But, Latham says he and his sister were “beating it.”
“Tracy had just gotten out of foster care because she turned 18 but the Corning resident foster parents were trying to keep custody of Tracy’s son—that’s why she had a Corning address,” he explained. “But we beat it and she finally got to come home with me about six months ago with her son.”
Since Latham has two sons and a fiancé living under one roof, she soon she got her feet on the ground, and got into her own apartment, he said.
“She was going really good, had a good boyfriend, and life was going in a good direction,” he said. Though Sabados was receiving Social Security for a mental illness, according to her brother, it is not known if she was on any medication that could have affected her judgment in driving.
What is known is that there is no money for her $5,500 funeral. Latham is getting some help from extended family and friends to fundraise at three days of car washes. They will happen at the Big Lots in Vacaville and right across the street from the Brenden Theaters, also in Vacaville.
The car washes will be on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and their goal is to raise $7,000 so some funds can be placed in savings for Sabados’ son.
“If anyone can help at all, that would be great because we really need it,” he said. He reported that his older sister, who has a child of her own, is going to attempt to gain custody of Tracy’s son.
While all this will be happening, the two survivors of the crash, Jill Soderstrom and Denver Havlin will be emotionally and physically healing. Soderstrom is a UC Davis student who was heading out with her fiancé, Denver Havlin to the Havlin Ranch to take care of cattle that morning.
As Soderstrom was driving on Porter Road and approaching the Pitt School Road intersection, she was watching a truck that seemed to be creeping out just a bit too far into the intersection from Pitt School Road past its stop sign. Traffic on Porter Road does not have to stop. Cross traffic is required to stop. Then Soderstrom caught sight of a car approaching the intersection on her left near the auto wreckers that did not appear to be slowing.
“That car isn’t stopping!” she remembered saying and then the impact happened in a split second.
“That is the last thing I remember hearing,” said her fiancee. Havlin then woke to find the truck on its side and seeing his fiancé hanging in her seatbelt. “I unlatched mine and stood up then saw her so unlatched her and she dropped down.”
Havlin said that seatbelts, airbags, and the truck are what saved their lives. The truck, a 2002 Chevy 2500 ¾ ton Diesel pickup, rolled twice before coming to a rest on its side in the dirt of the road’s shoulder. There were two witnesses.
The other car, a 4-door Chrysler sedan, rolled as well and ended upside down in the ditch along Porter Road.
Soderstrom and Havlin were taken by ambulance to Vacaville Kaiser with lacerations requiring stitches, body pain, and seat belt bruises. They were later released and are grateful to be alive.
“You look at that truck and you know it is a miracle they are alive,” said Havlin’s parents, Bob and Marvel.
Editor’s note: Dixon Patch has talked with Angelina De Los Reyes' godmother but the family is too distraught to talk right now and we have been unsuccessful in contacting the family of Billy Esteben Jaimes. We will continue to follow up on this tragic story.