AUSTIN (KXAN) - Educator Mark Gobble spent most of his life defying the odds: leading an Austin school; attempting to climb Mount Everest; pursuing his doctorate at the University of Texas; and even launching a successful skateboard company.
So the fact that the 38-year-old was hit during a regular morning jog on a sunny June morning in South Austin seems senseless.
The grey Toyota pickup truck that hit Gobble drove off from where he fell near the intersection of Slaughter Lane and Escarpment Boulevard. He would later die after he was transported to at University Medical Center Brackenridge with serious injuries.
The driver of the truck drove a couple of blocks down the road and crashed. When police arrived, they found the truck empty. West Slaughter Boulevard was closed while police investigated.
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Gobble was featured in a documentary back in 2003, part of a team of 14 disabled hikers who climbed Mount Everest. At the time, he was a teacher at the Texas School for the Deaf . He would later go on to be associate, assistant and principal of the high school on the campus.
"My special memory of him was that he was the first member to sign on," said Gary Guller, the expedition leader on the trek back in 2003. He spoke to KXAN News, via Skype, from Hawaii. "He was looked at in a very positive way, and he, for sure, had a bright future."
The documentary, "Team Everest: A Himalayan Journal," highlighted the largest group of disabled people to ever climb Mount Everest. It was an official selection of the Austin, Vail and Seattle film festivals.
"Mark has had a lifelong fascination with Everest and the cultures of Nepal and Tibet, and has dreamed of seeing Mt. Everest up close and personal. As a teacher of World History and American History at the Texas School for the Deaf, he frequently teaches a unit on Everest," according to a website on the documentary. "Trekking to base camp will be a perfect opportunity for him to bring real-life experience into the classroom and 'connect' his teaching to his students in the purest sense"
Gobble was one on the trek who did not complete the full trip. In the movie, Gobble left the students in his classes one final message about reaching beyond their limitations.
"I'm not trying to convince all my kids to climb Mount Everest, but: Go out. See the world. Do what you want to do," said Gobble through an interpreter in the film.
Gobble never allowed deafness to stop him from moving forward. At the time of his death, Gobble was an adjunct professor at Boston University, completing his doctorate at the University of Austin and organizing an independent TED event for the deaf community.
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