News

Gunn alumnus dies in drunk-driving accident

Enrique Tejada, son of Ramona's Pizza owners, had studied carpentry

On Wednesday, the family and friends of Enrique Tejada gathered amid Christmas decorations in the family's south Palo Alto condominium to honor the life of the brother, son and young man they loved.

Tejada, 28, died in a single-car accident Monday in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Sanborn Road. He was driving a 1998 Oldsmobile, going fast, and he was not wearing a seatbelt, California Highway Patrol spokesman Todd Thibodeau said.

He had also been drinking, Thibodeau said.

Around 3:45 p.m., the car drifted to the left on the curvy road near State Highway 9, Thibodeau said. Tejada overcorrected, swerving to the right. The Oldsmobile struck an embankment and flipped several times, landing on the roadway, Thibodeau said.

Tejada was killed instantly and his two passengers -- friends from work, according to his brother, 26-year-old Hector Tejada -- were injured.

Sunnyvale residents Jesus Badillo, 33, and Samuel Guillen, 28, were taken to Valley Medical Center. Both suffered from cuts and facial lacerations, and one had a spinal injury, Thibodeau said. Badillo and Guillen had both been discharged by Thursday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

As they sat talking Wednesday night, family members acknowledged that Tejada could have been drinking. But they were comforted that Tejada has been reunited with his father, Juan, who died in 2005. The two shared a special bond, Hector Tejada said.

"That's what has given us peace of mind. They're together now," sister Mayra Tejada, 21, said.

Although they were near a campsite, the three men had not been camping, Mayra Tejada said. They had been working that day, she said.

Tejada was the oldest of four children, a key member of a close-knit Mexican-American family, Hector said. He lived with his two brothers, Hector and Mario.

He attended Gunn High School and played varsity soccer but did not graduate, Hector said. Enrique also played soccer for Foothill College and also enjoyed handball and baseball, Hector said.

He then studied carpentry, graduating from Project Build offered at the Opportunities Industrialization Center West (OICW), his mother Carmen said, proudly displaying his certificate.

"He was a great guy, a good older brother, a good human," Hector said. "We loved him and cared about him."

Although he worked as a carpenter, Enrique was always willing to pitch in and help his family, which owns Ramona's Pizza on Birch Street, or fix something around the house, Mayra said.

A rosary has been scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. at Roller Hapgood and Tinney at 980 Middlefield Road. The funeral is Monday, Dec. 31, at 10 a.m., also at the funeral home.

Tejada's death was the first during Avoid the 13, the 19-day drunk driving crackdown by Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies, according to campaign spokeswoman Jan Ford.

From Dec. 14 to Dec. 25, officers in the county arrested 522 people for drunk driving, up 14 percent from last year, Ford said.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Victor & Desiree Tejada
a resident of another community
on Dec 27, 2007 at 9:27 pm

Rest in Peace cousin. You were loved and will be missed deeply. Your smile will never be forgotten.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by friend
a resident of another community
on Dec 27, 2007 at 10:05 pm

Rest in peace mijo, we will missed you, some-one us special like you will never be forgotten, you will always be in our hearts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kami
a resident of another community
on Dec 28, 2007 at 8:25 am

My thoughts and prayers will remain with the Tejada Family. I am so sorry for your loss.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ana
a resident of Ventura
on Dec 28, 2007 at 2:11 pm

may he rest in peace. Enrique you are in our prayers.
our deepest condolences go to the tejada family.

-Coronado Family


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Covarrubias family
a resident of Gunn High School
on Dec 28, 2007 at 5:14 pm

Our thoughts are with our long-time friends the Tejada family. We send our most sincere condolences. May Enrique rest in peace.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Friend
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 28, 2007 at 6:49 pm

Rest in peace Enrique. My deepest sympathy to the Tejada family and friends of Enrique. My thoughts are with you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mario A. Tejada
a resident of Gunn High School
on Dec 28, 2007 at 6:50 pm

Thanks to all who showed love and continue to show love to my brother and my family thru this time.there has been some changes to the schedule the rosary has been scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 30, at 5 p.m. to 8 p.m at Roller Hapgood and Tinney at 980 Middlefield Road.Reception will be held after at all saints Espiscopal church parish hall 425 Hamilton Ave.His burial will be held on Wednesday at 2 p.m at Alta Mesa Memorial park located at 695 Arastradero Road. Much love to all.. Mario


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tiffany
a resident of another community
on Dec 28, 2007 at 10:14 pm

Rest in peace Enrique, My condolences to the Tejada family. I very sorry for your lost.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Victoria M
a resident of another community
on Dec 28, 2007 at 11:20 pm

Rest in peace Enrique. My deepest condolences to the Tejada family. I am very sorry for your lost, you are in my thoughts and prayers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vicky
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 29, 2007 at 12:03 am

May he rest in peace. I can't believe this keeps happening. Maybe now he can hang out with our good friend kelly. I remember in the good old days when we used to hang out every day and were all inseperable. I am so sorry for your loss. Please, everyone, don't drink and drive and be careful out there on the roads. I have come to realize in the last few months how truly fragile our lives are.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by lindsay b
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Dec 29, 2007 at 5:01 pm

REST IN PEACE!!! IM SORRY THIS HAD TO HAPPEN TO U GUYS!!
MUCH LOVE MAYRA


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gisela Valdovinos Y Familia
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 29, 2007 at 6:47 pm

A la familia Tejada Acosta Nuestras sinceras condolencias en estos momentos tan dificiles y todas mis oraciones por esta gran perdida los quiero mucho Mario,Hector,Mayra Y A ti Tia Carmen Estan En Mi Corazon.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by julie
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Dec 29, 2007 at 7:03 pm

my heart hurts...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Carmen Tejada Y Familia
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 29, 2007 at 7:46 pm

Nos Duele Esta Perdida Irreparable


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Carmen Tejada Y Familia
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 29, 2007 at 7:49 pm

Nos Duele En El Alma Esta Perdida Irreparable Saben Que Siempre Contaran Con nosotros Su Tia Y Primos Fam. Valdovinos Tejada


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Olivia R
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Dec 30, 2007 at 12:36 pm

I'm sorry for your loss, best wishes to Mayra and the rest of the Tejada family.

Olivia Ray


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kaaren
a resident of Gunn High School
on Dec 30, 2007 at 2:45 pm

Carmen, my heart just sobs for you. Please know how much we care for you, Hector, Mario,and Mayra. But there is a tiny bit of comfort to know that Enrique and Alfonso are together with those incredible smiling eyes. Kaaren


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gabrielle
a resident of Gunn High School
on Dec 30, 2007 at 6:09 pm

I'm so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences to the Tejada family.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by familia Tejada Rodriguez GDL
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 30, 2007 at 9:29 pm

el cuerpo y la mente descansan en paz pero dentro de cada uno de nosotros quedara el recuerdo de Enrike Tejada.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by familia Tejada Navarro
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2007 at 8:16 am

nuestros corazones lloran por la perdida de un ser querido nos unimos al dolor que estan pasando que el señor los colme de fortaleza y paz en sus corazonez que enrique siempre estara en el recuerdo de la familia


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cesar Angel Tejada y familia
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2007 at 8:29 am

Estamos consternados por la perdida de un ser querido, siempre estaras en nuestros corazones; animo familia, estamos con ustedes en estos momentos tan dificiles.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MEMO TEJADA NAVARRO
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2007 at 8:40 am

ANIMO QUERIDA FAMILIA ESTAMOS CONPARTIENDO EL MISMO DOLOR DE UN SER QUERIDO QUE DIOS LES DE LA FORTALEZA PARA SEGUIR ADELANTE LOS QUIERO MUCHO ME SIENTO ORGULLOSO DE PERTENECER ALA GRAN FAMILIA TEJADA.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Leticia Navarro Castañeda
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2007 at 8:55 am

Enrique Dios te llevo a su lado porque fuiste su elegido para que desde el cielo cuides a toda tu familia que tu sabes el amor y cariño que siempre te tenemos eso se queda en nuestros corazones


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Abuelita felicitas de tejada
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2007 at 9:08 am

Dios los bendiga y los ilumine a cada uno de mis nietos, que yo siempre estare pidiendole a dios que los ilumine y los lleve por buen camino, ya que esta perdida de enrique nos a afectado a toda la familia Tejada. Los quiero mucho cuidense.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tio PatoTejada
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Dec 31, 2007 at 10:10 am

Sobrinos, Familia y amigos, solo el que perdió algo en esta vida sabe que jamás será recuperado, el tiempo nos da cierto consuelo. Afortunadamente no estamos solos
ANIMO TEJADA UNIDOS.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jaime navarro (chingis)
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2007 at 11:08 am

enrique gracias por tu amistad fuistes una persona muy buena siempre nos recibias con una sonrisa que fortalecia nuestra amistad aun que estavas lejos nosotros ansiavamos que binieras para recordar biejos tiempos y a hora que no estas aqui te recordaremos y siempre te llevaremos en el corazon.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by tio Guille tejada
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2007 at 11:21 am

Enrique esta contento y feliz gozando a su papa Alfonso Tejada y asu tio faustino, asi como conosiendo asu abuelito Angel Tejada y demas familiares fellecidos; si miras al cielo y esta una estrella parpadeando es que estan juntos cuidandonos, acada uno de la bendita familia Tejada.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by fam.tejada flores
a resident of another community
on Dec 31, 2007 at 11:41 am

are thoughts and support are with all of you.
you're not alone..
we are really sad ..
hugs for all the family ..

we love you

marisol, yoya, lety. adriana...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by fam, acosta rodrigez
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2007 at 3:37 pm

nuestras mas sentidas condolencias para todos ustedes. es una perdida muy grande el siempre fue un gran hijo un gran hermano y un exelente compañero como lo fue tambien su GRAN PADRE, reciban el consuelo y el cariño de todos los seres que los aman dios los vendiga


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ENRIQUE ACOSTA L
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2007 at 3:45 pm

DIOS LOS ILUMINE Y LES DE LA FORTALEZA DE ESTA PERDIDA TAN GRANDE RECUERDEN QUE ESTAMOS CON USTEDES LOS AMO CON TODO EL CORAZON


 +   Like this comment
Posted by FAMILIA CHAVOYA TEJADA
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2007 at 6:28 pm

QUERIDA FAMILIA LAMENTAMOS TANTO ESTE SUCESO PERO QUEREMOS QUE SEPAN QUE COMPARTIMOS SU DOLOR Y SUFRIMIENTO ! ENRIQUE QUE DIOS TE TENGA EN SU SANTA GLORIA ! TE AMAMOS QUE DESCANSE EN PAZ.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JAZMIN Y FAM TEJADA
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2007 at 6:31 pm

LOS MAS MEJORES CONDOLENCIAS Y MUCHO ANIMO PRIMOS Y TIA QUE DESCANSE EN PAZ Y SIEMPRE ESTARA EN NUESTROS CORAZONES. SIEMPRE TE RECORDAREMOS QUE DESCANSE EN PAZ.CUIDENSEN MUCHO!!!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Felicia Muniz
a resident of Gunn High School
on Dec 31, 2007 at 9:04 pm

My thoughts and prayers are with Enrique's family. I am in shock. I havent seen Enrique since High School, but i will always remember his smile and what a great guy he was.

Enrique, may you rest in peace. God Bless.

Aloha,
Felicia Muniz


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hector Tejada
a resident of Ventura
on Jan 1, 2008 at 4:50 pm

REST IN PEACE! BIG BROTHER RAY LOVE! LOVE YOU !


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Orozco Family
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 3, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Rest in Peace Ray Ray. You will be missed and not soon forgotten.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Adrian Zepeda
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 8, 2008 at 7:32 pm

I JUST WANT TO SAY MUCH LOVE TO ALL OF THE TEJADA FAMILY... MY PRAYER'S GO OUT TO ALL OF YOU.. One man by himself is nothing. Two people who belong together make a world.

Enrique y Alfonso R.I.P May your angels guide you forever...

Adrian Zepeda...:(


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mijan
a resident of Ventura
on Dec 30, 2008 at 8:56 am

it was a year on the 24th since you departed..how time flyes. may you be resting in peace. see you when i get there ...


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