Mother Heartbroken When Daughter's Memorial Removed

By Chris Chan
|  Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012  |  Updated 8:06 AM PDT
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Peggy Klein-Martinez tells NBC 7 reporter Chris Chan why she was crushed when her daughter's memorial disappeared.

Peggy Klein-Martinez tells NBC 7 reporter Chris Chan why she was crushed when her daughter's memorial disappeared.

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Peggy Klein-Martinez couldn't believe her eyes when she arrived at the site of her daughter's fatal car accident and found that the memorial had been removed.

She said she had prepared to visit the site on Sorrento Valley Road, chat and share memories of her daughter who would have been 27 years old. 

"It was supposed to be a happy day. It was supposed to be a day of happiness and celebrating her life. I couldn't even do that," she said.

On August 25, 2002 San Diego teenagers Rebeca Martinez, 17, and Mike McGlory, 19, were killed in a street racing crash in Sorrento Valley. Their car was speeding at 100mph when it hit two trains and burst into flames

Pictures taken earlier this year showed flowers and photos of Rebeca stapled to the tree  A cross with her name sat at the base of tree. And Rebeca's grandmother also placed a blue butterfly at the site a month ago. Klein-Martinez said it was Rebeca's favorite color.  

"And you could see it just coming down the street. It just stuck out and drew attention to it which is what I wanted it to be. I wanted it to be a reminder that something bad happened there," she said.

She said she felt heartbroken. Besides remembering her daughter at the crash site, she hoped it would be a reminder of the dangers of street racing.

On Friday, the organization held an event to commemorate the death of Martinez and McGlory.

Efforts to contact the city and CALTRANS to see if workers removed the memorial were unsuccessful.  Rebeca’s mother hopes whoever took the items will return them to her.

Klein-Martinez hopes she can adopt the median to ensure the memorial's safety. 

"We'll go out and keep it up and keep it clean, and we'll put a sign out there and just let people know that it's in memory of Rebeca and support Race Legal and slow down," she said.

Race Legal is an organization focused on keeping streets and communities safer by offering a sanctioned track alternative to illegal street racing.  

She will hold a fundraiser at the Paradise Lounge and Grill in the Midway area on Saturday, September 1, to raise money for the charity.
 

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