On Mother’s Day, some onlookers in Houston, Texas, witnessed a rather insane scene. Some driver decided to drive over gravestones, some of which belonged to those who had lost their lives in service to our country. No, seriously, it was all caught on camera. What is going on here? Well, the woman reportedly was—get this—trying to avoid traffic. What could be such an emergency that would lead someone to plow through the dead? We’ll get to that in a bit.
The event at Houston’s National Cemetery was to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the ending of World War II. Families gathered to see the Lone Star Flight Museum’s “Fight to the Finish” fly over that day (via KSAT12):
After the flyover, witnesses said the woman was in a rush to leave and nearly ran over a family who was paying respects to their grandparents, according to KPRC.
Amanda Hill was at the cemetery and posted on Twitter: “My heart is broken for the veterans whose headstones this woman ran over today.”
“She almost ran over my grandmother and grandfather’s (who was a first lieutenant during WWII) gravesite/headstone," she added.
ABC 13 Houston has more from Ms. Hill and other witnesses to this act:
"She tried to back up, and then went up on the curb of the section where my grandparents are buried," she explained. "[The woman] couldn't get around some cars, and then she started running over the graves."
Hill said in all, the driver tried to get around the traffic jam three times.
"She went over dozens of graves by the time she finished," said Amanda.
By then, onlookers were yelling at her to stop, and 19-year-old Jeremiah Johnston was recording it on his cell phone.
"I was shocked, and never would have expected that to happen," he said. "This is Houston, and there are crazy drivers, and I never would have expected to see them going through a cemetery. Especially when everyone was there to pay their respects during a patriotic flyover."
…the director of the National Cemetery told ABC13 the bulk of the investigation was done the day before. The damage was estimated at $1,000, with much of it to the sprinkler system.
No headstones appeared to be damaged.
Well, that’s good news, I guess, the minimal damage. Yet, what could trigger such an inexcusable event? Well, as it turns out, it wasn’t due to any disrespect. It appears there was a medical emergency that triggered this mad dash out of the cemetery. This is the 21st century. With an incident like this, the driver was bound to be identified.
The person behind the wheel, a woman, was contacted by police last week, but no charges will be filed. She said her husband, also a veteran, was not feeling well due to his diabetes, and she needed to get him food as quickly as possible. ABC 13 and The Houston Chronicle both reported that the woman was cooperative and pledged to pay for the damages to the cemetery. The case is considered closed.