June 07, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Number 60. It literally is a statistic, but it’s also more than that. The name on the white wooden cross is too faded to read. I could only make out the letters “Z” and “A” at the top of the cross, and what looks like “Rest in Peace.” on the two arms. Checking various sources, I’ve determined this memorial marks the spot where, on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm at the 7800 block of Manchaca Road, there was a fatality with an unidentified vehicle.

 7800_Block_of_Manchaca_Memorial.jpg

The City of Austin lists traffic fatalities by year and by number. In their 2012 spreadsheet, this one is number 60. On the chart, most of the fields identifying the person are filled with names and dates of birth. When a name is not available, the City simply identifies the deceased by age, gender, and race. But for #60, there is no identification, just a question mark.

 Cross_at_Manchaca.jpg

So this is the site where someone completely unidentified, passed away about 3 ½ years ago. A family member or friend knows who perished here and has left us a marker with just “ZA” as a clue. Without that memorial, this would truly be just another statistic.

 ZA_on_Cross.jpg

7800 Block of Manchaca Road, Austin, Texas

Suddenly Sacred