McAllister Park monument constructed in memory of fallen runner
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.
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.
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.