Round Rock dedicates bridge to Immortal Ten

Posted at 9:55 PM, Jan 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-22 23:55:44-05

Sunday marked the 90th anniversary of a tragedy that touched not only the Baylor Community but the world.

Ten Baylor basketball players were killed when their team bus was struck by a train, they would be known as the Immortal 10. 

The city of Round Rock is working to keep to live up to that moniker, hoping to keep their legacy alive by dedicating a bridge in their honor. 

In a brief ceremony, Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw called the tragedy one of the first sports tragedies, touching the nation.

While their lives cut short the impact they had is still profound.

"They were families, they were friends, they were members of the community. Although their lives were short their lives were not meaningless," he said. 

In fact, descendants of both those who passed and survivors attended the ceremony. John Curry of Waco, grew up listening to his mother talk about her brother, his uncle Willis Murray.  Curry would visit  his uncle's grave in Gatesville with his mother from time to time. When Curry went to Baylor, he would hear the story of the Immortal 10 as a freshman. A tradition the university still continues. 

"It's been 90 years since the bus, train collision. I think what we see here and what we see at Baylor it will always be remembered," Curry said. 

The bridge sits over the train tracks near the site. While a marker has sat next to the entrance of the bridge for years, Mayor McGraw didn't think it was enough.

"All we've had is what I call the pitiful black plaque and people don't know about it. As Round Rock grows most of the people don't know about the tragedy," he said. 

The bridge is lined with 10 green lampposts, each with the picture and name of those who passed. The side of the bridge painted in the signature Baylor Green and Gold. 

After a short ceremony, Mackenzie Maddox, a Baylor sophomore helped lead the crowd to the bridge. Maddox's great grandfather Joe Potter was driving the bus that day.  She says he rarely talked about that day, but sees her time at Baylor as an opportunity. 

"It brought so much pain to him. I get to pick up the pieces of his broken heart that he left on that campus," she said. 

As they continue to share the story, Maddox believes that out of the tragedy there is hope.

"It really puts into perspective how fast life can go.  I think it show all of the students just to live each day as if it's your last," Maddox said.

The first overpass built in Texas was constructed there in round rock because of of that deadly crash. This also started the push for railroad safety signs. Union Pacific donated 100 thousand dollars to the Immortal ten bridge  project.  

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