Families upset after semi runs through Whitestown cemetery
ZIONSVILLE - A semi trailer plowed through a cemetery Thursday after running off I-65 southbound near Zionsville. It knocked over headstones and brought family members of the deceased back to the graveyard.
One by one, worried relatives gathered outside of Whitestown's Lincoln Memory Gardens Cemetary.
Police say that 54 grave markers were either run over or damaged after a semi lost control early Thursday morning along I-65. Police say the truck went down an embankment, through a fence and then a cornfield and travelled another 1,500 feet before coming to a stop, teetering on a retention pond. The driver wasn't hurt. But families, kept away for a time, were concerned.
"My mom is over there and my last husband is over there. They're right over there. I put them here to rest. Not to be run over," said Jackie Sanders, Zionsville resident.
Over 12 hours after the accident, the truck was finally removed. Workers at the cemetary say most of the damage was in the rear of the property near the interstate.
The speeding truck dislodged a marker and cracked or dented others, and broke granite and marble stones. Police say that the driver first told them he fell asleep and later changed his story, saying a car swerved in front of him. Marion Minnick's parents are buried here.
"I'm concerned that they're out close to the interstate and possibly the semi ran over their marker and stuff," said Minnick.
"They're pretty close to the interstate and so it's kind of upsetting," said another woman who did not wish to give her name.
While families are still learning about the extensive damage, police say they're continue to investigate the accident, which caused a yet unknown amount of damage.
Police say they have determined that the driver fell asleep, causing the accident. Indiana State Police are also inspecting the truck to make sure that nothing was wrong mechanically.