Not a roadside memorial

Picture of the Moment

It’s common to see memorials along roadsides where someone has died, usually from an accident involving bicyclists, motorcycles, cars, and trucks.

When I was out in the Southern California high desert near Borrego Springs traipsing around looking at sculptures of prehistoric wildlife (see previous post), I found a memorial that was quite a distance from any road.

Desert memorial

There was no name on the marker but the dates indicated that the person was just 21 years and 3 days old. RIP, whoever you are.

My thinking in that regard is that the person probably was coming from Mexico to try to make a better life in the United States. The area in the high desert near Borrego Springs and Palm Springs is known as an entry point for Mexican nationals attempting to make their way into the United States for work. Unfortunately, it can get extremely hot in the desert, and without water and appropriate protection, deaths from exposure, even at night, are way too common.

Added on March 27, 2017:

I love it when some person unknown to me finds a blog post and contacts me with additional information. Such happened today, and the person, Princess J., provided a link to which provided additional information about this roadside marker.


“May 21 was a sad day for residents of the tiny desert town of Borrego Springs. Two young men, both graduates of Borrego Springs High, were involved in separate fatal accidents. Their deaths have friends, relatives and school children scrambling to raise money to help their families foot the funeral bills.

One victim, Sergio Sanson, had awakened early May 21 after a late night celebration of his 21st birthday. He was driving to meet friends for breakfast when he lost control of his car on a curve.

A few hours earlier Andrew Daniel, 28, had been critically injured in an off-road vehicle rollover accident in Ocotillo Wells. He was taken off life support the next day.

The deaths stunned the town of only 2,600 residents. The days since have seen car washes, bake sales, door-to-door soliciting and collection jars placed in local restaurants. San Diegan Nick Caldwell was even approached by girls selling cupcakes on the golf course of the Borrego Springs Resort.

“The community is truly coming together,” said René Navarro, manager of the resort golf shop and a friend of the victims. “They were both very friendly and very kind. They always got along with everybody,” added Navarro, who played high school football with Sergio.

A golf tournament fundraiser organized, in part, by Andrew’s former sister-in-law, resort Sales & Marketing Director Kimberly Daniel, will be held June 3. Entry fees ($25 per player) will be split between the two grieving families.

Andrew’s sister, Sonia, said townspeople are comforting them with hugs and love. She said Andrew, who regularly had cut his long hair to donate it to Locks of Love for ill children suffering hair loss, had insisted on being an organ donor ever since one of his friends died last year: “The night he died we found out there were four lives he was saving.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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11 thoughts on “Not a roadside memorial

      1. songtothesirens

        It is. I, being Buddhist, try to practice compassion for all beings everyday. I am not always successful, but at the very least, I give it a go.This guy was straight up mean. The memorial wasn’t widely known so it isn’t like he had a bunch of people trouncing across his land.


  1. kelihasablog

    That’s so sad! I know my great-grandfather had lots of money when he died, but his brother and two sister’s took out his will and re-wrote it according to one of their kids. When they buried him, he had requested a nice, regular funeral…. and they buried him next to his wife, with no name or dates on it. Weird huh?
    BTW I just love your cat. I’ll have to post the pictures of mine doing her yoga while I’m doing mine.



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