McArdle Project Construction Equipment in Tribute to Kimberly En - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

McArdle Project Construction Equipment in Tribute to Kimberly Encinia

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CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) - The roadwork on a stretch of McArdle near Ennis Joslin is getting underway this week to make it safer for drivers and pedestrians, and if you pass by, there is a piece of machinery that will be hard to miss -- a giant hot pink excavator with the name Kimberly painted on it.

It's part of a tribute to the young woman, 24-year old Kimberly Encinia, who died as a result of a hit and run accident two years ago. It happened as she was walking to church. There were no sidewalks on that stretch of McArdle at the time, but that will soon change.

Among those at Monday's groundbreaking was Kimberly's mother, Mary Encinia.

Reytec Construction, the construction team in charge of the McArdle project, unveiled the huge hot pink caterpillar excavator named after Kimberly Encinia on Monday.

"The thought just popped into my mind. Taking one of our excavators and paint it pink, and put her name on it," said Gregg Reyes of Reytec Construction. "I think it's a tragedy. Terrible what's happened here, and even more so that it has gone unresolved."

It has been two years with still no new leads as to who the driver was who hit Kimberly and left the scene. The only information police have to go on is that the vehicle was a 2002-2004 Nissan Xterra.

The hope is that the eye catching equipment will serve as a reminder of who Kimberly was, and hopefully generate new tips to police.

"I'm hoping that they will remember her and remember what happened," Mary Encinia said. "Hopefully they will find it in their hearts to call with any information. If it's a family member, friend or neighbor, they will call Crime Stoppers."

The equipment will be used during the new road and sidewalk construction. The project will be a complete overhaul of the road, and the work is expected to last about 18 months and will stretch a little more than a mile, from Whitaker to Roddfield. The goal is to make that section of road safer for drivers and pedestrians.

"Something so tragic that happened in my life, I'm glad something very, very wonderful is happening for these children and young adults going to and from the University," Mary Encinia said. "It's safe for them. There is not going to be any worries anymore."