By Patrick Yost
Thanks, in large part, to a local citizen walking through the old Madison Cemetery at the time, a man who knocked over four Confederate grave markers, breaking two, was identified and cited.
Andrew Shannon, 39, Columbia, S.C. has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident without reporting the damage, according to Sgt. Phillip Malcom, Code Enforcement Division, city of Madison.
City reports state that on June 27 a woman was walking through the cemetery at approximately 8 p.m. when she observed a Western Express tractor trailer truck attempting to turn around near the CSX railroad crossing that intersects the cemetery. The woman said she did not observe the truck strike the markers but that prior to the truck’s arrival she had not noticed the markers damaged.
The woman, Malcom said, also took photos of the truck, including the driver and truck number and offered the images to authorities on July 1.
A day later Malcom reached Western Express. The trucking line had Shannon call Malcom and, Malcom said, initially denied any knowledge of striking the markers.
However, Malcom said one of the markers, which are implanted more than two feet into the ground for stability, was struck in a manner to rip the truck’s mud flap off. It was found next to one of the damaged markers.
“He said he got lost and was looking for a place to turn around, “Malcom said. Reports state that Malcom said “I explained to Shannon that when the truck struck the grave markers that a mud flap had been torn away from the truck and it was hard to believe that he did not hear or feel the truck striking an object.”
Malcolm said Shannon is due in court on August 2 to face the charge and that the city will request $1,000 in restitution to repair the markers. Malcolm said two of the marble markers will have to have pins drilled into them to reconnect the broken parts.