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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Talalelei Lealao-Taiao came from a large Samoan family. Her two kids and numerous siblings were among the thousand or more at Lealao-Taiao’s funeral.
Lealao-taiao, 53, grew up in the Bay Area and lived in Sacramento. Her service was held at Capital Christian Center.
Family members said they wanted to remember what a great person she was, not how she died.
“She was always smiling. I really liked that,” said her niece Milena Tuimavave.
Lealao-Taiao was behind the wheel of a motor coach carrying high school students and chaperones when a FedEx truck crossed the median and slammed into them, killing ten people, including Lealao-Taiao.
The students were being given a tour of Humboldt State University.
“You don’t believe it. Someone is there and then they’re gone. And you’re never going to see them again,” said Lekarione Tuimavave, Lealao-Taiao’s brother-in-law.
Lealao-Taiao’s friends and family said her spirit will live on through them.
“Hopefully, going forward, they put some things in place that will prevent it from reoccurring. And that’s the best we can hope for,” Tuimavave said.