Roadside Cross Taken Down Again In East Montgomery

Bryan Henry - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Brandon Colley can't believe it. "It's sick. I really don't know what to say about it," said Colley.

Sick over the fact the wooden cross put in the median at Taylor and Vaughn in memory of Colley's fiance was taken down for the second time. Christine Gregory died 4 years ago at the intersection when another driver struck Gregory's car. Colley's father put up the second cross early Sunday morning. 3 days later it was gone.

"Anyone who would desecrate a cross concerns me. It's a moral issue, you know," said Lou Colley.

Even motorists passing by during the taping of our story expressed their disappointment to Lou Colley.

"We are so sorry," said one lady.

Lou and Brandon Colley say they haven't decided if they'll plant another cross. Right now they have trouble accepting the fact someone would do this.. again. The last time it happened was about a month ago.

"It could be somebody doesn't like crosses," Colley said.

That is precisely what happened but not for the reason Colley suggested. Officials with the Alabama Department of Transportation tell WSFA 12 News they took down the cross because they say it interfered with roadside maintenance and it posed potential safety issues. The department also claims it got what it calls 'numerous complaints' from people about the cross, saying they were 'tired of seeing it.' Lou Colley says the memorial wasn't that big.

"It was chest level," said Colley.

But DOT also adds that it is 'sensitive' to the grief experienced by families who have lost loved ones. In fact, the agency says it's 'evaluating more appropriate ways for families to remember their loved ones.'

Delaware is one state that's building a memorial park with the hope that will discourage people from establishing roadside memorials.

Still, Lou and Brandon Colley say they find DOT's reasoning and actions thoroughly disappointing.

"I actually believe it was taxpayers property," Colley said.

It is still not clear who took the cross down the first time. State transportation officials say it wasn't them. The state started removing roadside memorials in May after a group of people nearly caused a major wreck in Birmingham while setting up flowers and crosses.