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Brake failure causes teen to crash car in cemetery

By Seth Burkett
DAILY Staff Writer

sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

An out-of-control car ran over several tombstones in a Northwest Decatur graveyard Saturday night.

The driver's brakes failed as he crossed the railroad tracks heading north on Memorial Drive Northwest shortly before midnight, Decatur police said in a report released Monday.

The 19-year-old Hillsboro man told police he didn't think he would be able to make the curve where Washington Street begins, so he drove straight ahead, through the Decatur City Cemetery gates and down the cemetery's private drive.

The car left the driveway at a curve, striking six headstones and turning in a circle before coming to rest about 600 feet from the driveway, police said.

One headstone broke, five others overturned and the wreck left ruts in the graveyard, police said.

The wreck damaged the car's front, rear, undercarriage and three of its quarter panels, police said.

The driver, the only occupant of the vehicle, suffered no injuries. Police cited him for not having proof of insurance.

In an unrelated accident Sunday morning, police said a northbound van ran off Sandlin Road Southwest, crashed through a fence and struck two storage units at A Storage Place.

The driver and passenger fled scene of the 7 a.m. wreck on foot.

Police spoke with the van's registered owner, who told them his brother had had borrowed the vehicle that morning. His brother later admitted to police that he was driving the van at the time of the wreck.

No one was charged with a crime, but police advised both the owners of the van and storage units how to obtain warrants for leaving the scene of an accident.

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