8-year-old boy, 46-year-old aunt killed in drag race crash remembered by families

Two extremely close families are related, leaning on each other as they grieve

SAN ANTONIO - – Devastation has spread through two related families that operate as one.

They lost 8-year-old Santiago Martinez and his aunt, 46-year-old Rebecca Sedillo, to the drag racing crash in Kerrville Saturday.

“He was an amazing little brother. He always made me laugh. He was grateful for everything,” said 23-year-old older brother Abel Martinez III.

Tears falling, Abel talked about his smart, loving 8-year-old brother Santiago, who was killed when a car flew off the track at the Race Wars 2 event at the Kerrville Airport.

“I was planning to see him Saturday after the races,” Abel said.

Santiago was pinned against a trailer when the car lost control at the finish line, crashing through the crowd where there were no barriers.

Laid to rest on Thursday, the little boy leaves behind his parents, two older siblings and two younger ones who called Santiago their hero.

“He and Matteo were best friends. He’s five. He had to help me pick out which toys to put on the ofrenda because he knows,” Abel said.

“Santiago always protected my little sister. She’s two years old. He always looked after her. That’s why he wanted to become a knight because he said, you want to take care of the queen,” he said.

Santiago died next to his aunt, Sedillo, who was hospitalized until Wednesday when she died from her injuries.

“I used to call her every single morning after I brought my kid to school. I always call her to see how you’re doing, daily stuff. But now I feel so bad because I’m not going to be able to talk to her,” said Tanya Flores.

Flores is Sedillo’s sister-in-law but said they were close like true sisters.

She said she will help care for Sedillo’s 12 and 15-year-old children like they were her own.

On Friday, the two attorneys representing these families told KSAT they have not filed a lawsuit yet, but plan to do so within a week or so once they are done investigating and deciding who to name in the lawsuit.

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About the Authors

Courtney Friedman anchors KSAT’s weekend evening shows and reports during the week. Her ongoing Loving in Fear series confronts Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She joined KSAT in 2014 and is proud to call the SA and South Texas community home. She came to San Antonio from KYTX CBS 19 in Tyler, where she also anchored & reported.

William Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.

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