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Families Devastated After Shinnston Cemetery Accident
Written by Lauren McMillen
Last updated on July 07, 2014 @ 11:46PM
Created on July 05, 2014 @ 6:16PM

It was a solemn weekend for several families after a driver crashed into the Shinnston cemetery and destroyed several tombstones. But now work is being done to help get their loved ones resting place back into shape.

It all happened Friday afternoon, when a truck lost control and came to a stop in the middle of the cemetery. According to officials, the driver was allegedly texting behind the wheel. No one was hurt, but 8 graves were knocked over, with some being crumbled into pieces.

5 News talked to one couple who was shocked and sad to hear that their parent's grave was damaged and destroyed.

"It was the anniversary of my mother-in-law's death on Friday and me and my husband thought it was kind of ironic that it happened that day. Several families were involved and each family needs to be contacted and somebody's going to have to pay a lot of money out of their pocket," said Susan Paugh, family member of destroyed tombstone. 

Grave site managers are on the site and are working to get the tombstones replaced, but they said it could be a long process.

Right now, the cemetery has a stone wall, but it does not cover the entire length of the property. After accidents like this, grave site keepers say they are going to consider extending the barrier.

"The older part of the cemetery has a stone wall and I think it's a pretty good idea to start looking at getting it extended out. We're going to have to get measurements and figure out exactly how many are damaged because they bounced off several other graves. We're going to have to get prices, quotes, get them ordered, get them sandblasted. All of these will have to be jack hammered out and the new ones reinstalled," said Jeffrey Loar, General Manager of the Shinnston Masonic Cemetery. 

The cemetery is working to contact each family that may have been affected by the damage. The Shinnston Police Department is continuing to investigate.

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