Mother wants more protection for son's gravestone - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Mother wants more protection for son's gravestone


Is it disrespect for the dead, or just thorough planning?

A Michiana Mother says she wants more protection for her late son who's buried in the Fairview cemetery in Mishawaka.

Chad Pearson was killed when he was hit by a car while traveling abroad in London as an IUSB student in 1994.

He was 21 years old, and the Pearson's only child.

"Losing anybody is really hard, but it feels like when you lose a child you've lost part of yourself," says Pearson.

Pearson says over the years many vehicles have crashed into the fence, which she says has protected the gravestones and she's afraid of it happening without that barrier.

"If a car comes in here and knocks down these stones, or runs over these bodies, it's just sad. It's uncomprehensible to me," says Pearson.

She started worrying about whether the cemetery would replace the fence before winter.

So she asked about it. Here's how she describes her conversation with a cemetery employee.

"She said, 'We're not putting up a fence.' And I said, 'Why not?' there's always been a fence there, And she said, 'I know, the workers say it's easier to mow without a fence'."

Frustrated, she posted on Facebook and found out she wasn't alone.

Bob says, "I agree with you, we just buried my mother-in-law yesterday. I also questioned when they were going to put the fence back up. I was told the same thing."

Ron says, "My son Collin Holt is buried there also. I will call and let everyone else know about this also."

FOX 28 spoke with the General Manager of the cemetery over the phone.

Stevie Nelson says it's not a question of "if" the fence will go back up, but "when."

Nelson says the cemetery first needs to do some research about what type of fence to put up and has a lot to consider.

He says the chainlink fence doesn't really provide much protection and hasn't worked well as far as clearing snow from the sidewalks.    

Pearson says she's not sure she believes it will in fact go back up, but if so, she hopes the fence goes up sooner rather than later.

 "I just want them to do the right thing for all the families who've entrusted their loved ones to them," says Pearson.

Nelson says the cemetery isn't responsible for any damage caused to a headstone.

He says it's either covered by the plot owner's homeowners insurance or whoever crashed into it would be responsible.

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