Mystery memorial stands for 9 killed on I-30 in December tornado

Pop-up tornado memorial appears in Garland

GARLAND, TEXAS - It might not dawn on you while going 70 mph, whizzing past Interstate 30 and the President George Bush Turnpike.

It is the spot where nine people drew their final breaths as a tornado bore down around them on December 26, 2015.

Most people don't stop to think about that day-after-Christmas nightmare anymore. But someone did, by casting shadows deep and long like the grief permanently stretched across their loved ones’ lives.

No one's sure when the trees appeared on the hill between the two highways. The canvas is wood, painted and glittering for Timothy Harris and Petra Ruiz.

Stockings for Sharva Sanders, Leo Mota and Jose Juarez.

And then there are the details, reflected in the art on the 'branches.’ LaShondra Whitaker's family called her Bunny. She’s memorialized by a tree with a bunny on it.

Cecil Lowrie spent 54 years with his wife. That night was the 55th anniversary of their first date.

And Kimberly Tippet was a medical assistant.

Her one-year-old son Kameryn, the littlest among them, with a tiny tree to match.

We know this wasn't the work of Rowlett or Garland. The Texas Department of Transportation had no clue. The artist is a mystery, and probably prefers it stay that way. This work is for the nine, and the thousands of people who drive by every day who may think of them, once again. 

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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