Car crashes into Girard Cemetery, damages headstones

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GIRARD, Ohio (WYTV) – Girard Police are investigating a crash that damaged about half a dozen headstones at the city cemetery, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Officials believe the driver somehow lost control on Route 422 around 11:15 Tuesday morning, veering off the road and into the cemetery. No one was hurt.

Ron Britt drove by and saw that the car had gone into the area near where his mother is buried. He stopped later to check on the grave.

“I think I was most shocked when I actually saw it on the ground,” he said. “I don’t think this is what people meant when they said ‘rest in peace,’ when something like, this disruptive to your grave happens.”

Britt found her headstone on the ground, about eight feet from where it’s supposed to be. A few others nearby were knocked over and moved also.

“It’s sacred ground so I felt very badly about it, but it can be repaired,” Britt said.

Officials at the cemetery estimate that the damage will cost anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 to repair.

“This has not happened in my many years here in city hall, so this is something new we have to look at,” Mayor Jim Melfi said. “We’ve already notified the city’s insurance carrier to make them aware of the accident.”

He hopes the person responsible has insurance to cover the cost. Nevertheless, Melfi says the damages will be fixed.

“Whether it’s the city, or the courts or our insurance company, somebody’s going to hold somebody accountable. You can’t do this kind of damage and just walk away.”

The crash is still under investigation.