TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Ally Goad will be remembered as a free spirit and a positive light who loved being around friends and family.
“She was somebody that was always full of adventure and would drag anybody on those adventures with her,” said her mom Danette Goad.
At just 22 years old, the Oklahoma native died in a crash on Highway 69 near Jacksonville. Her family got the news on Sept. 11, 2021 at 4 a.m.
“There were two police officers standing in the room with my husband, son and daughter-in-law. My husband was on his knees on the ground. My son was clutching the counter trying to stay upright. I turned and looked at the police officers as they delivered the news and I told them that they were liars,” said Danette.
Ally’s family, with the help of East Texans, chose to honor her with a small memorial near the crash site.
There, you’ll find her favorite flowers, sunflowers, stuffed animals, a cross and more, showing how loved and missed she is.
“We ended up driving down, my husband and I, and they put the crosses up and we put the flowers out,” added Danette.
Recently, Ally’s parents learned about TxDOT’s Memorial Sign Program and decided to have one made.
For $350, TxDOT makes a sign to be placed at the site of accident to help raise awareness of preventable tragedies.
“Texas Department of Transportation has what we saw as an amazing program. Not all states have it,” said Danette.
A few weeks after the sign went up, Ally’s mom said TxDOT reached out, saying she needs to remove the family’s memorial. She says TxDOT told her once the sign goes up, you’re not allowed to keep or put up your own memorial.
“They’re saying it’s two memorials, but the memorial for us is the cross and the flowers on the side of the road. The sign is a tool to save other lives and hopefully keep another family from having to go through this devastation,” explained Danette.
Initially, Danette said TxDOT told her to move the cross further away from the road, which they did. Then she said TxDOT gave them 30 days to remove it all.
After KETK’s investigation, TxDOT reached back out to the Goad family and said they do not have to remove the memorial.
“We don’t have a grave to go to. We have an urn and we have that crash site,” said Danette.
Danette said it’s a special spot to the family since it’s the last place Ally was.
TxDOT gave the following statement to KETK News:
“TxDOT is committed to working with families who have lost loved ones in traffic crashes through our memorial sign program. These signs not only memorialize the victims, but also help remind the traveling public to make safe-driving decisions. Memorials placed by victim’s families should be located in such a way that it does not distract the traveling public and it should not pose hazards to motorists or maintenance crews. We encourage those who want to place a memorial to meet with TxDOT to determine the exact placement of the marker to ensure proper and safe placement.”Statement from TxDOT