Hwy. 99 Northbound
Location: Earlimart, CA
Date of Accident: September 26, 2010
December 4, 1988
Inscription: "Dec 04 1988
Bella Amor Mendoza Sept 26 2010" plus many
Bella Amor Mendoza
Items: Bella's photo and a
Lady of Guadalupe medallion are embedded into the cross. A wooden
cross pendant is hung on the white cross.
Fake flowers and two wind spinners are at the base
of the cross. Lastly, Virgin Mary and baby Jesus figurines
lie at the base of the cross.
Description: Wow, this is a beautiful
monument. It marks the spot where a pretty young lady was
tragically killed in a car accident in September 2010. The
familiy handcrafted this large white cross, and then
Bella's friends and relatives lovingly wrote messages all over it.
It's one of the nicest, most
heart-felt memorials I have seen. What makes this white
cross unique though is what the family did after their loved one's
death. In addition to
creating a physical monument at the accident
site, the family also created a Facebook tribute page for Bella.
It is still active and is filled with
heartfelt and thought-provoking messages. So,
Bella's memorial is a novel intersection of a traditional white cross
memorial with today's social
After a brief web search, I found info on the
accident, along with Bella's obituary (see
links below). Here's what happened:
Mendoza, 21, of Visalia,
died Sunday morning when the sport-utility vehicle she was traveling in
a median and flipped on
99 near Earlimart. The
California Highway Patrol reports that Ms. Mendoza was one of six
passengers traveling south in a 2003
Ford Explorer driven by 18-year-old
Matthew Elizondo of Visalia around 5:30 a.m. Mr. Elizondo struck the
an attempt to avoid a
tanker truck and encroached on his lane, then
across northbound lanes and rolled the SUV into a pistachio orchard.Ms.
was pronounced dead at the scene, while the rest of
the passengers received
injuries ranging from minor to major."
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other fine websites presented by Fyoog State Records:
to White-Crosses Main