A new bench beneath an oak tree south of Patterson Hall at SMU will serve as a constant reminder of the late Mark McCullers, a campus police officer swept away in floodwaters on July 5, 2016.
Employees of the SMU Police Department, which offices in Patterson Hall, will see the bench every day, campus officials said.
The university dedicated the bench on Feb. 16 with McCullers’ wife, Tiffany, and other family members present along with SMU police officers. Two of McCullers’ children attend SMU.
McCullers, 46, was sitting in his Dodge Charger sedan in the early hours of July 5 working off-duty private security at a Highland Park construction site, when heavy rains caused Turtle Creek to overflow. Video footage from the Fitzhugh Avenue bridge shows him being swept away.
His sedan was found 13 hours later about a half-mile downstream, but McCullers remains weren’t found until Aug. 24. SMU Police Sgt. Keith McCain’s located the remains in a pile of debris near Oak Lawn Avenue and East Levee Street, where a more-than-mile-long drainage tunnel empties Turtle Creek into the Trinity River.
People Newspapers saluted SMU police officers as newsmakers of the year in recognition of their collective dedication and efforts and also as representatives of the hundreds of volunteers and public safety personnel who participated in the massive search.