"Jan 14, 2015 started out like any other day, my husband left around 1am to transport a group of inmates to El Paso for TDCJ. I arrived at work around 8am, I too work for TDCJ as a medical provider and the day was like any other. I was seeing a patient when my collaborating physician called from another unit and said there had been a bus accident on I-20 outside of Odessa and I needed to find out where my husband was since he knew Chris worked for transportation. I knew Chris would have been on that route but did not know if there was another bus that could have been going on I-20. After several phone calls attempting to get information about the accident, I was able to get on the internet and saw a story on an Odessa news site showing a picture of the bus with the caption, Fatal Prison Bus Crash… At the same time the Warden for my unit along with the Major and one of the correctional officers walked into my medical department, my world stopped!!!
I met Chris on Match.com with the simple introduction of “Hi” October 2010. You hear people say they were meant to be together and it was definitely true for us. From our first date in Nov, we saw each other or spoke every day. Chris was a member of a motorcycle club and I had a picture of myself along with my motorcycle on the site, I always told people it wasn’t me that drew him in, it was the bike. We were married in 2012 and would have celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary in 2015.
The first character trait that comes to mind to describe Chris after I got to know him was integrity. He had a sense of responsibility to his family, friends and job. There was many a day he did not want to go to work but he went because that is what you are supposed to do. He had been with TDCJ for 17 ½ years and was counting the days to retirement. Chris was the kind of guy that appeared very tough but once you were in, he was a big bear and he told me I brought out his softer side. Chris was not someone seeking attention and I learned many things about him after his death. He was a confident to many (and believe me, he did not tell) and he always had the back of his friends and coworkers. I even heard reports from the inmates saying he was fare. I could go on and on with why I and many others loved this man…
I have been thrown into a new world since the accident that killed my husband Chris, Jr Garcia, 8 inmates and injured Jason Self along with 4 inmates. The kindness from the law enforcement community along with many others has been overwhelming. I have learned of organizations that I never knew existed because they reached out to me and Chris’s family to show support in many ways. I was honored to attend a memorial service by the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation held in Jacksonville, Florida that honored Chris for his service along with other Corrections Officers who had died in the line of duty in 2014. I was introduced to the CPOF at Chris’s funeral but was so overwhelmed I had no idea of what they really did. After experiencing so much kindness I started thinking about what I could do in Chris’s name to “give back”. During the memorial by the CPOF it came to me, I could give back to the CPOF. I learned that the CPOF is the only organization that supports only correctional officers and their families during illness, death, and life’s catastrophes.
When I returned from Florida I immediately contacted Terri Cantrell, she is a Lieutenant who works at Middleton who rides a motorcycle and she has been instrumental in getting a group of officers together in the spring to ride together every year. This ride was known at the “Boss Run”. I thought how perfect it would be to merge the Boss Run with a benefit that would give back to the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation in the name of Chris and Jr. to make the Western Region Transportation Department a lifetime member of their organization. With this thought, the First Annual Boss Memorial Run was born…
Through many people brainstorming and support this idea has morphed into the event you see presented today. Chris had such a love for cars and bikes that I know he would love this idea and would be so proud to be able to give back. I have had the privilege of getting to know Jr’s family through this difficult time and I am honored to be able to include them in this event. Chris and Jr will be always be thought of together along with Jason Self and they will be held in the hearts of many .
I thank our supporters, the core group putting this event together and all of you for taking time to read my story and participate in our event…"