Central Texas man looking for change after finding his mother dead

Posted at 6:08 AM, Mar 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 07:39:34-05

A Central Texas man is working to make a change to help protect people in the area where he found his mother dead after she had been missing for two days. 

51-year-old Delettra Whitman was found by her son behind the wheel after she lost control of her vehicle causing her to veer off the highway, hit a tree and fall into a ravine.

"We knew when she didn’t show up for work that my mom was missing and so we started putting a search party," Whitman's son, Tory Davis said.

That search led Whitman’s son and other family members to the spot off Interstate 14 in Nolanville where his mother had been for two days. 

"That afternoon when I found my mother I told her, as I held her in my arms I loved her," Davis said.

The next morning, Davis felt like something just wasn’t right so he went back to the worst place he’s ever been.

"And I walked this high way up and down I-14 just to see if anything was out of order and it hits me that they are missing this guardrail," Davis added

Which is something that Gary Lowe, the owner of the 100 acres directly south of the ravine, said he noticed 35 years ago when he got his property.

"I have seen it over the years and saw what a gully it is and I was surprised at how deep it is and obviously this needs to be protected from people having car accidents," Lowe said.

So to bring awareness, Davis has started a petition in hopes to get a guardrail in the area so that no one else feels the pain he and his family are going through.

"The State of Texas should have had protection for my mother, the State of Texas should have had protection for you and me. The State of Texas should have been more aware of this 20-foot drop that I had to pull my mother out of," Davis added.

Central Texas News Now reached out to the Texas Department of Public Safety to find out what issues on a road may require a barrier, TxDOT said many things are considered when a barrier is in question.

"TxDOT's Barrier guidelines are based on the premise that a traffic barrier should be installed only if it reduces the severity of potential crashes. 

The three primary considerations concerning shielding (guard fence) at a potential roadway hazard:

1. Remove or reduce the condition so that it no longer requires shielding,

2. Install an appropriate barrier.

3. Leave the condition unshielded.

TxDOT also said that while this is the first accident at this location, they will be conducting a crash evaluation to determine the best course of action.

Whitman will be buried on Monday at the Rivers of Living Waters Church in Killeen. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.

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