Galien Township seek driver in cemetery hit-and-run

GALIEN, Mich. --- Galien Township is looking for a driver who veered off the road and took out several headstones at a cemetery. The accident happened several days ago, but police are still working to track down a suspect.

At least 5 tombstones were toppled over as a result of the accident and residents say this isn’t the first time this has happened in their neighborhood.

“Maybe the guard rail. Put cameras out there. I mean slowing down the intersection. Slow 'em down the speed in the intersections cause there’s a lot of accidents here," said Bela Heinzmann, a resident.

The speed limit on US-12 which runs right along Galien Township Cemetery might only be 55 miles, but residents say that doesn’t stop drivers from going far over that on the two-lane highway.

Just several days ago a driver veered right into the cemetery crashing into an entire section of tombstones causing damage that many residents say they wouldn’t wish on any family.

“Those particular stones are not here right now they’d have to be shipped out right now. Ordered up and shipped out of the country and it takes anywhere from 90-120 days to get one here," said Burial Laborer, Perry Peterson.

Several of the damaged tombstones are from the early 1900’s and while the township is unsure whether or not ancestors from those deceased individuals remain living in the area, Peterson says it’s going to be difficult to replace them exactly how they once were.

“They could be fixed. They could be expoxied or glued back together but it’ll just never be the same and some of them are so damaged that it wouldn’t even be worth it," said Peterson.

Bela Heinzmann who’s been a resident in Galien for the past fifteen years says this isn’t the first time this has happened and he’s hoping this time it might spark some change in his community.

“If you find the person who did this just tell 'em do the right thing and turn yourself in, but it’s gonna be hard man. It’s been long enough now whoever did this is probably not gonna get caught," said Heinzmann.

Police are still looking for a suspect at this time. If you know anything about this incident you are encouraged to contact Michiana Crime Stoppers.

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