MOWEAQUA, Ill., (WCIA) — Shelby County deputies said a driver in Moweaqua damaged 15 headstones at Tolly Cemetery last Friday.
Officers arrested Steven Decker for drunk driving with a revoked license. Police said Decker crashed through a fence and hit the headstones.
Before he turned himself in, police had no information on who damaged Tolly Cemetery. But two hours after it happened, a Shelby County Road commissioner made a call that led them to the suspect.
“We had a local township road commissioner report that a truck had ran over one of his stop signs and was stuck in the ditch, ” Sheriff Brian McReynolds said.
The next morning, officials returned to the cemetery where they found parts of Decker’s truck and his license plate. McReynolds said Decker admitted to drunk driving but didn’t realize he crashed into the cemetery.
“We don’t believe that it was done with any ill-intent,” said McReynolds. “The fact that the subject was unfamiliar with the roads and probably was drinking alcohol at the time led to the accident.”
Cemetery board member Sylvia Burgener said the group will be meeting soon to fix the damage. They want to make sure families who have ancestors laid to rest will have peace of mind, including descendants of the Tolly family.
“It’s important to them,” Burgener said. “They want to know that we’re taking care of the cemetery and maintaining it. It’s tragic that accidents or problems like this occur. But we want to make it right.”