Woman killed in hit-and-run while attempting to run across Texas

Rebecca Gartell was on a mission to run nine hundred miles across Texas when a driver killed her in a hit and run on February seventh in West Odessa.
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 11:16 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Rebecca Rodriguez Gartrell was on a mission to 870 miles across Texas when a driver killed her in a hit and run on February seventh in West Odessa.

Gartrell was 265 miles into her goal of running across Texas when here on highway 302, she was struck and killed by a vehicle.

Now, her loved ones are searching for answers.

On February first, Gartrell began running at the New Mexico/El Paso border, determined to cross the state by the end of the month.

The fastest anyone has ever run across Texas is 27 days, but Gartrell was on pace to break that record by six days.

Gartrell never got to complete her goal - but her husband says he finds peace knowing that she died doing what she loved.

“She just realized that she didn’t know how far she could really go, and she was trying to test that. I don’t think she would have ever really found a limit to her. It was just something that made her happy in life; it made her complete,” said Keith Gartrell.

Besides being a passionate runner, Gartrell will also be remembered as a great mom, wife, sister, and friend.

Her best friend, Rebecca Reeves, says that she never met a stranger and always took the time to chat with new people while on her runs.

“She was someone I could laugh with, I could cry with, go on adventures with. she was my motivator, my accountability partner,” said Reeves.

As of right now, the case remains unsolved, and the Texas Department of Safety is asking for the public’s help.

“We’ve had a lot of success with partnering up with CrimeStoppers and doing this together, making it a joint effort, and using that avenue to giving people the ability to make an anonymous tip. We’ve had more solved than unsolved,” said DPS Sergeant Oscar Villarreal.

Anyone with information is asked to contact DPS, CrimeStoppers, or the Kemmy Law Firm in Odessa at 432-400-0000.

There has been a Go Fund Me set up by the family to offer a reward to anyone who has information about the case.

Any remaining money from the fund will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or the Texas Suicide Prevention Coaltion.

You can find the Go Fund Me here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/reward-fund-justice-for-rebecca-gartrell?utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer

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