Davidson police are searching for a speeding driver who smashed into a dozen cemetery headstones after losing control of the car late Wednesday.
Police pursued the vehicle as it sped along Griffith Street at 50 mph, twice the posted speed limit. Police lost sight of the car and, per department protocol, stopped pursuing it.
At 3 a.m. Thursday, Davidson College Campus Police found the car damaged and abandoned on Ridge Road. An hour later, campus police found the damaged headstones in the Christian Aid Society cemetery on the same road.
“I was devastated,” Erving McClain, president of the Christian Aid Society board, told the Observer. “I could not believe it was in the condition it was in when I saw it. I’m still overwhelmed by it. I never thought something like this would happen. To me, it’s a beautiful resting place.”
A World War II veteran’s headstone was among those apparently knocked over by the driver. A small American flag at Robert L. White’s headstone was also knocked down,
Another headstone that was pushed over was for Enoch Davidson. He died in 1962 at about age 95 and was born “‘after freedom’ ... For over half a century a faithful servant of Davidson College,” his toppled tombstone read.
McClain said the cemetery opened in 1905 for local African Americans, but is now “diverse.” Most of those buried in the cemetery were from Davidson, including people who moved back to town, she said.
The cemetery is at the end of Ridge Road, about a mile off N.C. 115. Several days after the incident, tire marks were still visible in the cemetery from where the