SCANT CITY, Ala. (WHNT) — UPDATE: The homeowner and the crash victim’s sister have come to an agreement where the crosses will stay, but will be moved farther away from the homeowner’s driveway.
Wednesday evening dozens of family and friends gathered at the memorial site expecting the crosses to be gone, but they were back in place. Family tells us the property owner has agreed to allow a memorial to stay but they will be working on a new design in the future.
Back on March 27, 2000, the first day of spring break, four young people lost their lives along Highway 69 in Marshall County between Guntersville and Arab. Several weeks later, wooden crosses were put up on the side of the road to remember the four.
“It was our memorial to them,” said Lynda Webb. “We put them up to let everybody know and to remember this is where they lost their lives.”
Webb is the sister of Jonah Ray, one of those who died. She says the crosses have been replaced over the years, most recently by she and her husband.
“They were not just something we left on the side of the road and forgot about,” Webb said.
But Webb says Monday she found the crosses were gone. She contacted the Alabama Department of Transportation. She says someone there told her the crosses were removed because a woman who lives nearby had complained.
Webb says she is not upset with ALDOT and understands they were just doing their job. Her feelings for the woman who complained are not as understanding.
“She said it had just become an eyesore. That just broke my heart. I didn’t know how to take her after she said it had become an eyesore,” Webb said. “She said she had been wanting it gone for a few years.”
WHNT News 19 spoke with the woman who requested the crosses be removed. She did not wish to go on camera. She did confirm she requested the crosses be taken down and repeated that she found them to be an eyesore.
The woman’s home sits back approximately 200 yards from the roadway. However, she told us she was tired of looking at them. When asked if she had any compassion for Lynda Webb being upset, she told us, “she should have thought about that before she put them down on the side of the road.”
“She had no compassion. No regrets and no sympathy,” Webb told us.
Alabama law does not allow signs or memorials to be placed on state right-of-ways. However, the state has typically turned a blind eye to memorials, unless someone makes a specific complaint.
Webb says the state told her she could put the crosses back up, but if the woman lodged another complaint, they would be forced to take them down again.
“I’m just hoping we can get a response, so maybe we can get this memorial put back up,” Webb said.