BRONSON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — With the exception of traffic from Orland Road, St. Mary’s Cemetery is a quiet property for the people of Bronson to lay their loved ones to rest. But it was disturbed over the weekend when a pickup truck crashed into several headstones, police say.
The crash happened around 2:15 a.m. Saturday after the driver lost control, Michigan State Police said, adding that alcohol is believed to have been a factor. No one was seriously hurt.
MSP said that when officers were called to the scene, they found a woman with the truck, but they are not certain she was the driver. They’re looking into whether it could have been a man who was found nearby and had injuries consistent with a crash. They are testing blood evidence from the scene to figure out who was actually behind the wheel.
Tim Wilson and his wife often visit the cemetery south of Bronson, where several of their family members are buried.
“There are so many people here that I know and grew up with,” Wilson said.
While the graves of his parents, aunt and uncle were spared, the graves of his grandparents and sister were not.
“My family’s been hit, but the other families, too — I’m sure it hurts them all,” Wilson said. “It’s a strange feeling, for sure.”
About 20 headstones, markers and statues were broken and shattered.
“It hurts. It hurts more that I’m here seeing it,” Wilson said. “Hearing about it was bad.”
Staff at St. Mary’s Assumption, the Catholic church in Bronson that takes care of the cemetery, told News 8 they don’t know how much repairs will cost. They also don’t know when the damaged headstones and grave markers will be replaced.
“We’ve made initial contact with our insurance company. … We are deeply saddened by the destruction that has occurred and the impact on families,” the Diocese of Kalamazoo said in a statement. “We are grateful for the support of local law enforcement.”