Car crashes into Dayton VA Cemetery headstones

WDTN photo

DAYTON, OH (WDTN) – A devastating sight at the Dayton VA Cemetery Friday morning as a car crashed through a gate off Gettysburg and plowed through 35 headstones.

Cemetery officials say the fence was hit sometime after 4:00am.

The VA says this time of year is when they see the most visitors as families visit their loved ones at rest for the holidays.

“It’s disturbing. We have work to do. We are going to do what we have always done and that is buckle down. Our team will pull together to fix it and make it right,” said Nick Hetzer, a VA Cemetery Caretaker technician.

The sight is disturbing, but this problem isn’t all that rare.

“We have had issues with the fence in the past. We’ve had people come through, but we’ve never had anything like this happen here,” said Hetzer.

Repairs are already underway.

“The temporary tags will be in place and we will of course notify all the family members,” said Hetzer.

The VA is considering options on how to better protect this final resting place.

After all, the cemetery should be a place of peace.

“For us the bottom line is of course the same as it has always been. That’s the family. What happened, at this point in time we are just looking to move forward and make it right,” said Hetzer.

Dayton Police are heading up the investigation and have not released any suspect information.

A car was also left behind at the scene.

Headstones have been ordered and it could take several weeks to get everything fixed. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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