Motorist plows through Oak Lawn Triangle, damaging Legacy of Love Monument

Posted on 13 Nov 2009 at 1:12pm
    Michael Milliken, right, president of the Oak Lawn Committee, and local LGBT activist Jesse Garcia survey the damage on Friday morning.
Michael Milliken, right, president of the Oak Lawn Committee, and activist Jesse Garcia survey damage to the Legacy of Love Monument on Friday morning.

A motorist plowed through the Oak Lawn Triangle at Cedar Springs Road and Oak Lawn Avenue sometime early Friday, causing extensive damage to the three-year-old Legacy of Love Monument.

Based on the damage, it appeared as though the motorist jumped the curb while traveling southwest on Oak Lawn Avenue. The vehicle then struck the wall in front of Frank H. Caven Memorial Gardens, dislodging a plaque, before upending two of the pillars that surround the main monument.

Pieces of plastic and metal from the vehicle could be seen Friday morning amid the crumbled concrete that was strewn across the Oak Lawn Triangle. Rebar was sticking up from the ground where the pillars stood, and plaques that adorned the tops of the pillars were lying flat on the pavement.

Sr. Cpl. Janice Crowther, a spokeswoman for the Dallas Police Deparment, said the agency’s computer system was down so she was unable to immediately retrieve any information about the accident, assuming it was reported to police. A manager from nearby Walgreens said he reviewed security video from last night and determined that police and a tow truck responded to the accident at about 2:40 a.m.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Michael Milliken, president of the Oak Lawn Committee, which erected the $250,000 monument using private donations as a tribute to the area’s diversity. “It’s heartbreaking because of all the work and donations that went into building this.”

Milliken said the monument was completed in October 2006. Fortunately last night’s accident didn’t damage the main structure, and Milliken said he was unsure how much repairs would cost. He also said he didn’t believe the damage was intentional or a hate crime.

“I don’t think so, but anything’s possible,” Milliken said. “Nobody in their right mind would have suffered the damage this would have caused to their car.”

Milliken said he was tentatively planning a volunteer day beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday to clean up the damage. He also said people could donate to the nonprofit fund that’s been set up for maintenance of the monument by going to www.oaklawncommittee.org.

More pics after the jump.

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