Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Thomas Garcia
Staff writer 

Local to transport Spirit Ride casket through town


Local resident Linda Unruh will transport the American Towman Magazine’s Spirit Ride ceremonial casket Tuesday through Tucumcari honoring the memory of her late son and deceased first responders nationwide.

“We are all out there together,” Unruh said. “This is an important message to remind everyone to slow down and move over.”

Bobby Unruh, 37, of Tucumcari was killed on Feb. 19, at mile marker 318 on I-40 near Montoya.

At the time of the accident Unruh was attempting to tow a commercial vehicle on I-40 that was broken down.

The ceremonial casket is part of the American Towman Magazine’s efforts to promote the awareness of the "Move Over" law that is "often ignored on our nation's highways," according to their website.

The memorial trip is being coordinated with more than 250 towing companies transporting the casket across the country and back to New York. The trip started in 2017 and is scheduled to be completed in 2018 involving more than 5,000 tow truck and emergency service vehicles.

“I am truly honored the Spirit Ride has chosen to come through Tucumcari to honor my son Bobby," said Linda Unruh, president of All-Rite Towing said.

“I have a different outtake on this tragedy,” Linda said of her son's death. “We need to find the good; that good is to promote Bobby’s Law, so first responders across the state and nation can go home to their families.”

Senate Bill 76 was signed into law on April 6 by Gov. Susana Martinez.

The law dubbed “Bobby’s Law,” imposes criminal sanctions, including jail time for failure to pull over to the inside lane when encountering an emergency vehicle, including law enforcement, ambulance operators and tow trucks outside of the road.

Linda said she was overwhelmed by the support of the local community and state legislators in the passing of this law. She said it had been passed over for four years by the state legislature.

“Bobby would have been shocked by all of the support,” Linda said. “From those who attended his funeral to those who spoke out in support of the law.”

Linda said she will pick up the ceremonial casket at 12:30 p.m. July 11 at the Texas/New Mexico state line. She said she will load the casket on to “Bobby’s truck” and transport it on Interstate 40 to Tucumcari. The casket will be taken along Route 66 through the center of Tucumcari, then to the Tucumcari Convention Center where a local ceremony will be held.

“I want to invite all first responders, their families and residents to come out and support this ride,” Linda said.

More information about the Spirit Ride can be found at http://atspiritride.com.


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