Family pleads for help replacing headstones toppled by alleged drunk driver

Local News

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A grieving family is pleading for help after investigators said a drunk woman crashed her SUV into two headstones at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Jefferson County.

The collision happened in July, but the headstones still have not been replaced. The family said the cemetery has not been helpful during the ordeal. The headstones mark the final resting places for Dolores Sandoval’s mother, Amelia Sandoval, and sister, Martha S. Mondragon.

“I miss everything about her,” Sandoval said about her mother. “We’re always out here for everything: Mother’s Day, her birthday.”

Since the incident, Sandoval said it’s been a challenge to figure out who will pay for repair or replacement. She said she’s been pleading with the Archdiocese of Denver for help because it runs the cemetery.

“All I do is hear, ‘Well, we can’t help you,'” Sandoval said. “‘It wasn’t our fault.’ Well, it wasn’t our’s either.”

The Problem Solvers spoke with the woman accused of causing the damage. She said she’s on a restitution payment plan that started last month. She said she’s paying $40 a month. The grieving family said it hasn’t seen a dime.

The Archdiocese of Denver said the cemetery has also been left uninformed on the process of restitution. Because the cemetery itself had no fault in the situation, its insurance won’t pay, the archdiocese said.

The archdiocese said it is sorry the incident happened and sorry the family hasn’t felt fully supported. It also said staff members at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery have done what they can to help and remain willing to do even more.

For Sandoval, it’s been long enough. She wants her mother’s memory preserved in a respectful way. She’s hoping restitution will eventually funnel her family’s way. The Problem solvers are continuing work to track down the money.

Meanwhile, officials at the cemetery said they stand ready to help the family and can give them a discounted price on repair or replacement services.

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