If you’ve driven down Route 31 by the River Run subdivision recently, you may have noticed that a memorial for a 2007 drunk driving accident is missing.
That would be because the memorial, erected with the Illinois Roadside Memorial Act, has a limit of being maintained for two years from the date of the last person memorialized on the marker.
The memorial was in remembrance of five teenagers killed on February 11, 2007 in a drunk driving accident: Matthew Frank, Katherine Merkel, Tiffany Urso, Jessica Nutoni and James R. McGee. Four others were injured.
The memorial officially went up on November 11, 2010, according to Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson Paris Ervin. It was taken down earlier this year due to the two-year limit.
According to the Roadside Memorial Act, the purpose of the memorial is: “to raise public awareness of impaired driving by emphasizing the dangers while affording families an opportunity to remember the victims of crashes involving impaired drivers.”
Ervin said that once a memorial sign is removed, “a representative from IDOT contacts the families of the victims to ensure the bottom memorial plaques are returned to them.”
For more information regarding the Roadside Memorial Act, please visit the Illinois General Assembly website.