By Bret H. McCormick
River Parishes bureau
October 15, 2012
GONZALES — A vehicle accident along Cornerview Road on Saturday caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to one of Gonzales’ oldest cemeteries.
A car speeding out of control around a curve on Cornerview Road near the intersection of La. 73 entered the Cornerview Cemetery, which is owned by St. Theresa Catholic Church, and damaged more than 15 graves, said Purvis Hebert, one of the plot owners.
Attempts to get information from State Police about the wreck on Thursday were unsuccessful.
Wayne Moran, the cemetery’s caretaker and maintenance man, said the accident caused more than $50,000 in damage. It was the second such incident at the cemetery this year, he said.
“They just go too fast around that curve,” Moran said.
Workers from Hope Haven Marble & Granite, of Gonzales, were working in the cemetery on Thursday to repair damage done during the accident.
Hebert said the vehicle traveled about 125 feet into the cemetery before stopping on top of his empty vault tomb, which cost about $2,000.
The driver of the vehicle, however, had insurance, so the owners of the sites will be able to be compensated for the damage, Hebert said.
About 16 graves were affected, including approximately five vaults, Hebert said.
The headstone on the grave of Hebert’s grandfather, Eugene Babin, who was buried in Cornerview Cemetery in 1935, was damaged, as were the two empty tombs next to Babin’s burial site that are owned by Hebert.
Many of the plot owners have paid to have the damage repaired and will file with the driver’s insurance company for reimbursement, Hebert said. Once he finds out the timetable, he said he might do the same.
“I’d like to have it repaired before All Saints Day, Nov. 1,” Hebert said. “That’s when a lot of people visit the graves and put flowers on the graves.”