Young mom remembered for joyful sense of humor
By Stephanie Lulay email@example.com March 13, 2013 5:56PM
Crash victim Emory Diaz Sepulveda, 20, formerly of Aurora
Updated: April 15, 2013 10:17AM
Twenty-year-old Emory Diaz Sepulveda was just settling in as a new, young mother before her tragic death.
She had spent a whirlwind of months prepping for the arrival of her son with boyfriend Chance Thompson. The baby, named Roy Raideyn Thompson, arrived on Nov. 20, 2012.
On Saturday evening, Sepulveda died after the car she was driving swerved off the road and crashed into a retention pond off of the Interstate 88 exit ramp at Eola Road in Aurora.
A Waubonsie Valley High School graduate who was previously living in Aurora, Sepulveda had recently moved into an apartment with 24-year-old Thompson in DeKalb. The two had met in January 2012 through mutual friends, and they both worked on the assembly line at Johnson Controls in Sycamore.
Sepulveda grew up in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, with brothers Jonathan and Joshua Diaz Sepulveda. She moved with her uncle to Aurora about three years ago, Thompson said.
Because her mother lives in Puerto Rico and her father lives in Virginia, Thompson’s family had adopted Sepulveda as their own, he said.
“Pretty much here, I was her family, (along with) my dad,” he said. “She kind of had to start a new life.”
After Waubonsie Valley, she graduated from Robert Morris University with an associate’s degree in interior design in 2011.
Thompson said Sepulveda was “the type who would find something very hilarious for no reason at all.”
“She made jokes about everything, always had a smile on her face,” he said. “She definitely loved (our son) — she would play like she was a little kid with him.”
On the night of the crash, Sepulveda was driving the vehicle, with Thompson’s sister, his father’s girlfriend and her child as passengers in the car.
“They were planning on shopping,” Thompson said. “From what my little sister explained, she remembered the whole (crash) until the water and after. She remembered everything.”
Thompson said he believes road conditions may have been poor and Sepulveda may have over-corrected the steering wheel.
“They ended up spinning and rolling,” Thompson said. “We went and saw the car and it’s so surprising that anybody got out.”
Thompson said a man who saw the crash happen stopped to help the victims.
“He saw my sister running and went and got her,” Thompson said.
The witness then called Thompson’s father.
Thompson was at work when his father phoned him. Within minutes, he bolted out of work for the hospital.
“We waited seven hours. We kept asking and I couldn’t figure out just why she wasn’t there. Why wasn’t she at the hospital?” Thompson said. “She had tried to get out (of the car) but couldn’t because of the ice. She had tried to swim.”
Her body was found in the pond about 3 a.m. on Sunday.
The preliminary cause of Sepulveda’s death appears to drowning, but a final death determination has not been made, according to the DuPage County Corner’s office. An investigation into her death is ongoing.
Thompson said his sister was released from the hospital that night. He said his father’s girlfriend’s daughter is still in the hospital, but did not want to elaborate on anyone’s condition.
Visitation for Sepulveda will be from 2 to 8 p.m. today at the Daleiden Mortuary, 220 N. Lake St., Aurora. Funeral services will be held in Puerto Rico at a later date.
Thompson said the family is leaving Friday morning for Puerto Rico.