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McAllister Park monument constructed in memory of fallen runner

04 Jun 2021

On 7 Feb 2021, Rebecca Gartrell, 48, was attempting to break the record on an 850-mile (1360-km) run across the state of Texas from El Paso to Texarkana when she was killed by a hit-and-run motorist. The incident occurred on Texas Hwy. 302 in West Odessa, a divided, four-lane highway with wide shoulders. It was reported that the motorist left the traffic lane and hit her on the shoulder. Tire marks suggested that it was a utility-type pickup truck. Authorities have not found the driver; however, a fundraising effort has been established for a reward fund at https://gofund.me/3dc6c455.

Concrete is poured by Keith Gartrell and friend Steve Tyo
Concrete is poured by Keith Gartrell and friend Steve Tyo

Gartrell was a mother of two from San Antonio. Last month, her husband Keith and a friend built a monument in her memory at the McAllister Park Dog Park trailhead, a route that leads to the Salado Creek Greenway. The memorial consists of a plaque, bench, and a recently-planted red oak. McAllister Park was her favorite place for running and cycling.

Steve Tyo and Keith Gartrell pose in front of the new monument at the McAllister Park dog park trailhead
Steve Tyo and Keith Gartrell pose in front of the new monument at the McAllister Park dog park trailhead

Runners and cyclists alike share the same tragedies as a result of careless motorists. Just recently, we ran a report on the tragedy of Beatrice Gonzalez, 43, of San Antonio who was struck by a motorist on 9 Apr 2021.

As a memorial to Rebecca Gartrell, a monument is accompanied by a bench and red oak at McAllister Park dog park trailhead
As a memorial to Rebecca Gartrell, a monument is accompanied by a bench and red oak at McAllister Park dog park trailhead

Monument displays image of Rebecca Gartrell engraved with a description of her life as an avid runner
Monument displays image of Rebecca Gartrell engraved with a description of her life as an avid runner and cyclist

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