Family fights for fatal crash memorial

Family fights for fatal crash memorial

There are 67 comments on the The Indianapolis Star story from Jan 31, 2007, titled Family fights for fatal crash memorial. In it, The Indianapolis Star reports that:

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources plans to remove a memorial Wednesday at the site of a deadly car crash that happened last summer, upsetting some relatives of the accident's victims.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Indianapolis Star.

Trying to be Sensitive

Cincinnati, OH

#43 Jan 31, 2007
I am terribly sorry for the family's loss and understand why this seems so important, but if they end up reading these comments, I hope they understand the opposoing point of view and reconsider their position. I was on Fry Road the other day, and my eyes left the road to glance at a small, white cross with a photo memorializing a very young crash victim. The cross is at a point where the road curves, and the roads were slick from the snow. I still looked and nearly went off the road! It's in the human heart to care about others who have died... but even though I have seen that cross a hundred times before, it drew my eyes away from the road and I could have lost control and hurt myself or someone else. You can't put a memorial on the side of the road and expect people NOT to look. Not to mention, animals will eat anything--stuffed animals, balloons, or anything that fits in their mouths. Plus, on windy days, these items could blow into the road and distract a driver who then may swerve. It is just not fair to impose, quite unsafely, the grief you feel. Think of others in your sadness, and know your relatives in Heaven understand. This family should consider establishing a memorial in a place not where they died, but where they lived--such as a nice place in the yard of their homes.
Lawyer

Canton, MI

#44 Jan 31, 2007
Bill Bean is being a horses%#@. Let the families have a memorial. If it was his relatives I'd bet he'd have one.
Listen to the Brilliance

Waukegan, IL

#45 Jan 31, 2007
Adopt the highway...

“Need a Tissue for Your Issue?”

Since: Jan 07

Chi-town South Sider

#46 Jan 31, 2007
BLONDE CHICK wrote:
HOW ABOUT A WHITE CROSS WITH A NAME?
Because the Pro-Lifers have the white cross thing taken already.

“Need a Tissue for Your Issue?”

Since: Jan 07

Chi-town South Sider

#47 Jan 31, 2007
Been there wrote:
My parents were killed in a car crash in '86. They still live on in my memories, not in some roadside cross. What if someone hits a tree in your front yard? Will you let them build one of these memorials and keep it there, on your property, forever? The state must draw the line, or we get over run with such stuff.
That's right...I would not want a morbid reminder of a tragic death on my property. It's bad enough that people visit the spot, repeatedly, parking where they shouldn't, putting items there that can blow away, potentially causing another accident. Also, whoever does the grass mowing will possibly be injured by flying debris they cannot see.
JLM

Indianapolis, IN

#48 Jan 31, 2007
A TREE wrote:
MAYBE THE FAMILY CAN GET DNR TO LET THEM PLANT A SMALL TREE OR SOMETHING THERE IN THEIR MEMORY INSTEAD OF THINGS THAT MAY BE UNSAFE. I FEEL REALLY BAD FOR THE FAMILY BUT I UNDERSTAND DNR'S POSTION TOO. IT REALLY MAKES ME SAD WHEN I DRIVE BY ALL THE MEMORIAL SITES ALONG THE ROADS. A LITTLE GIRL WAS HIT RIGHT DOWN THE STREET FROM ME AND THERE IS A CROSS AND LOTS OF OTHER THINGS WHERE IT HAPPENED AND TO ME IT IS VERY HARD TO LOOK AT OVER AND OVER. YOU CAN'T HELP BUT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE ROAD WHEN YOU SEE IT :(. GOD BLESS THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOR THEIR LOSE.
That's what we did. Our child was hit by an idiot in a school zone while riding her bike. Her best friend was killed instantly. We did have a cross for awhile but then we got the DNR to agree to letting us plant a tree in her friends honor. It's beautiful now. For some reason it just makes us feel better.
Willy

Indianapolis, IN

#49 Jan 31, 2007
Too bad about the dead poeple but:

Take the stuff down, drive over to where the folks are buried and leave it there. The "Public way" is not and should not be, a place for personal memorials. Other people's front yards and so forth, are also not a place for memorials.

I doubt that Miss Venderpool is realy willing to spend time in jail over a wooden cross at the side of the road.
Big talk for the media.
A TREE

Indianapolis, IN

#50 Jan 31, 2007
JLM wrote:
<quoted text>
That's what we did. Our child was hit by an idiot in a school zone while riding her bike. Her best friend was killed instantly. We did have a cross for awhile but then we got the DNR to agree to letting us plant a tree in her friends honor. It's beautiful now. For some reason it just makes us feel better.
so sorry about your daughters friend :( and thank god your daughter is still alive. i truely believe a tree or some other plant is a much better idea. trees live for a very long time and are beautiful so what a great way to remember your loved one by everytime you see it :). give the little birdies a place to start there families too :).

Since: Dec 06

Indianapolis, IN

#51 Jan 31, 2007
Colts Fan wrote:
OK, if it isn't appropriate then why doesn't the state develop a program that provides an "appropriate" method for honoring lost relatives on our highways. A choice of a state approved sign, monument...whatever.
The state can install it to their guidelines and the family can fund the installation and maintenance.
They have one approved already, it's called a cemetery.
Colts Fan

Indianapolis, IN

#52 Jan 31, 2007
Perhaps the crosses are also put on the roadside to remind everyone that a life was lost at this point and that if you are not careful it could happen to YOU! If one life is saved because they see a cross and think for a moment to slow down then they are worth it. While you are banning the memorial's, be sure to ban all bill-boards, cell phones, drive-thru and all take out food and drinks, and have the automakers remove the radios while you are at it. The memorial should be kept simple and not kept as a shrine. A simple cross with the loved one's name should be sufficient and keep everyone safe and happy.
Danny

Indianapolis, IN

#53 Jan 31, 2007
I'm not sure a memorial tree is the best idea, considering that the story says that's what they crashed into. Maybe a memorial guard rail would be better.
Fishers Indiana

Arcanum, OH

#54 Jan 31, 2007
STEPHEN ALLEN wrote:
WHERE ELSE WOULD ONE WANT TO HAVE A MEMORIAL FOR SUCH A TRAGEDY. IF THIS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR IT THEN WHERE. THIS IS WHERE THEY PASSED. THIS IS SACRED GROUND. THESE HEART BROKEN PEOPLE HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THEY WILL KEEP THE SITE MAINTAINED. MY DAUGHTER DIED IN AN AUTO ACCIDENT 3 YEARS AGO. WE HAVE A SMALL MEMORIAL WHERE SHE DIED. I STILL DO THE UPKEEP THREE YEARS LATER AND I GUARENTEE THAT WILL NEVER STOP. WE ALL DRIVE ON OUR BUSY ROADS AND SEE OBVIOUS SITES OF MEMORIALS WHERE PEOPLE HAVE DIED. MOST MEMORIALS ALONG THE ROAD BECOME INVISIBLE TO THE MAJORITY OF MOTORIST. AS FOR US OUR HEARTS SINK EACH AND EVERY TIME WE SEE A CROSS OR WHATEVER MEMORIAL IS PLACED ON BEHALF OF A LOVE ONE. OUR 18 DAUGHTER WAS JUST A PASSENGER IN A CAR THAT RAN OFF THE ROAD AND STRUCK A TREE. IN AN INSTANT YOU LOSE SOMEONE SO SPECIAL. NO CHANCE TO SAY GOODBYE. THE MEMORIAL ALONG THE ROAD REPRESENTS THE MEMORY OF OUR LOVED ONE AND SHOULD REMIND ALL OF US THAT WE NEED TO MINDFUL OF HOW WE DRIVE. I WOULD HOPE SOMEONE AT THE DNR WHO HAS SOME INFLUENCE WILL STAND UP AND BE A HERO, FIGHT FOR THEM NOT AGAINST. THERE IS MUCH MORE POSITIVE THAT CAN COME FROM THIS MEMORIAL THAN NEGATIVE. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY THE RIGHT PLACE FOR THIS. I HOPE THEY CAN MEET AND COMPROMISE WITH THESE FAMILIES.
Do you also visit the cemetery? Your "memorial" should not be allowed to become a distraction for other drivers.
Another Fishers Resident

Arcanum, OH

#55 Jan 31, 2007
Who should we contact to begin legislation to prohibit all roadside memorials. They are dangerous and unsightly. The roadside is not the appropriate place to remember a deceased loved one.
sal_manelli

Florence, KY

#56 Jan 31, 2007
i really do not think anyones loved ones are hanging out anywhere near their roadside shrines, hopefully they would be near the ones left behind
Dweebus

Manteno, IL

#57 Jan 31, 2007
Ol Bigun wrote:
Their loss is tragic but I have a problem with this and all private "memorials" placed on public property. That is why the have grave yards. The placement of a simple and tempoary symbol might help in healing but what I am seeing is elaborate displays meant to be of a permanent nature. Where will it end? We can't have all of the roadways taking on the look of a juedo-christian graveyard. Not only that, the way a lot of these are located they become a long term maintenance issue for the State and there are the legal issues of Church and State as these displays are almost always religiously themed.
Oh, no, not the old, over-used, worn out, "church and state" argument again ... might want do some historical reading on that "Bigun."
Penny

United States

#58 Jan 31, 2007
Regardless of how I die I would never want my family and friends to dwell on my death but instead remember my life and the impact that I made on them. I, thankfully, have never lost anyone in an accident such as this but I do not think that it would help me heal by reliving the accident everytime I passed the scene or by being reminded of the nature in which my family member or friend had died. I cannot judge the actions of others but I can say that I would not want to be remembered with wooden crosses and stuffed animals left by the side of the road.
Lindsey

Carlsbad, NM

#59 Jan 31, 2007
While I agree with most of the comments here..the piling of stuff on the side of road..I think placing a simple cross isn't that big of a deal. It doesn't harm anything and it's no worse of a distraction than trying to read a road sign. I think it's a great reminder to drivers to be careful on the roads. If memorials should be removed because someone might get hurt by them...then shouldn't other things like metal fence posts that end up impaling people?
anonymous

Indianapolis, IN

#60 Jan 31, 2007
The cemetery is the place to memorialize a loved one, not on the side of the road. Others do not want to be reminded of the accident when they drive by the area. If everyone did this the side of the highway would be littered with small memorials. Visit the cemetery and leave flowers, your brother is no longer at the scene of the accident neither spiritually nor physically.
just a mom

United States

#61 Jan 31, 2007
I believe that we remember in our hearts..These missed loved ones are not on the side of the road or under a stone hopefully they are in a better place. We shouldn't need road side memorials to remember to drive safe. Prayers are with families invilved.
anonymous

West Lafayette, IN

#62 Jan 31, 2007
Colts Fan wrote:
Perhaps the crosses are also put on the roadside to remind everyone that a life was lost at this point and that if you are not careful it could happen to YOU! If one life is saved because they see a cross and think for a moment to slow down then they are worth it. While you are banning the memorial's, be sure to ban all bill-boards, cell phones, drive-thru and all take out food and drinks, and have the automakers remove the radios while you are at it. The memorial should be kept simple and not kept as a shrine. A simple cross with the loved one's name should be sufficient and keep everyone safe and happy.
I completely agree! Everytime I see a cross, it reminds me that an accident could happen to anyone at anytime and we need to be careful.

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