Cemetery headstones in Hillsborough County damaged by driver

Deputies investigating crash in Riverview cemetery
Posted at 5:56 PM, Aug 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 17:56:21-04

Someone appears to have plowed a vehicle into a Hillsborough County cemetery, leaving a trail of damage.

Neighbors say they first noticed the damage to the Hackney Cemetery in Riverview on Sunday morning.

Gravestones were damaged and toppled; including a grave marker for a World War Two Veteran, and one plaque was shattered beyond identification.

"It's just so sad," says neighbor Betty Tanner, who lives nearby, and has many friends buried in the plot at the intersection of Hackney Drive and Providence Road.

"One of my husband's best friends, two of them, are buried right up on the corner up here," adds Tanner, pointing. 

While the vehicle that caused the damage is gone, the damage remains, including the mangled fence the vehicle appears to have driven through while possibly headed southbound.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office confirms they are investigation the auto crash, but didn't yet have details to share with ABC Action News, adding that the report was still being put together.

Since few seemed to have seen the crash that happened in the middle of the night, affected families are still waiting for an explanation.

"My grandparents is one of the headstones that were damaged," says Rachel Taylor who says their headstone was located in the grass far from the graves.

Taylor is one of many now questioning who will be fixing the site, since it is owned by the county.

The neighboring funeral home, Serenity Meadows, doesn't own the property but their employees have been volunteering to help clean up some of the minor damage, like the car parts lying around the field.

"I just hope it can get fixed. I feel so sorry for the families," says Tanner. "Maybe the community will come together and help get it fixed. You can't leave it like this."