- Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
- Antonio Basco’s blue Ford Escape was stolen and totaled hours after he hosted a funeral for his wife, Margie Reckard, who was among 21 people were killed at an El Paso Walmart on August 3.
- When residents of El Paso shared photos of the Escape on Facebook, local dealership Casa Ford Lincoln caught news of it and jumped in to help.
- The dealership said Basco initially wanted to repair his totaled car because it had belonged to his wife, but he instead was given a new blue Ford Escape that was in stock.
- “We donated it to him so that he could have a mode of transportation and still have a connection to his wife,” Ronnie Lowenfield, who owns Casa Ford Lincoln with his brothers, told Buzzfeed News.
Antonio Basco lived in his blue Ford Escape in the Walmart parking lot for nearly a week after his wife Margie Reckard was among 21 people killed in the store on August 3.
Alone and without any other family in the area, Basco extended an invitation for anyone to attend Margie’s funeral. Mourners from all over the country flew to El Paso to offer support. More than 3,000 people attended in all.
But just hours after Margie’s funeral, Basco’s SUV was stolen and totaled. The car, which had belonged to his wife, was completely wrecked.
Casa Ford Lincoln said Basco initially wanted to repair the SUV because it had belonged to his wife, but Ronnie Lowenfield, who owns Casa Ford Lincoln with his brothers, offered another suggestion.
“We had a blue Ford Escape in stock,” he told Buzzfeed News. “So we donated it to him so that he could have a mode of transportation and still have a connection to his wife.”
Lowenfield learned that Basco’s pressure washer, which he uses to make money washing cars, was stolen from the car, but a man from Alpine, Texas, offered to donate a new one.
“I’ve been concerned about it being self-promotion, but I just wanted to make sure that the world knows this is who we are,” Lowenfield told Buzzfeed News of giving the vehicle to Basco. “El Pasoans take care of each other. We take money we might or might not have to support others. And when cars break down, we replace them.”
Basco was gifted the new SUV and the power washer at Casa, in front of 100 employees and their families.
“You don’t know how much this means to me,” he told the crowd.
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