2007 DUI Memorial on Route 31 Taken Down

The memorial was part of a two-year Illinois Roadside Memorial Act for drunk driving accidents.

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.

Kbell January 03, 2013 at 04:34 PM
I always felt sad when I saw that sign and it brought back the feelings/emotions of what happened that fateful evening. It's sad to see it go because I feel it does keep the memory alive of what happened and maybe can prevent others from doing it.
Jane Enviere January 03, 2013 at 04:59 PM
A sign won't stop drunk driving and poor decison-making. If it did, no one would do it. I don't think it's appropriate to have signage/roadside memorials, but I definitely prefer the official, time limited version to the crosses, etc.
Jake J January 03, 2013 at 09:03 PM
The sign served no purpose other than to remind those families where their children died... people drink and drive everyday... we take care of them at the hospital all the time and it was more of a painful memory than anything else.
Sheila lokitis January 04, 2013 at 05:21 AM
What about the one on wolf that's been there for about 10 years!!!
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