Gravestones 'significantly damaged' after car crashes into cemetery wall

The Belhelvie Church cemetery's wall was crashed into by a car at around 4pm on July 23.

‘Significant damage’ to gravestones at Belhelvie Church cemetery after serious car crash Belhelvie Church

Gravestones in an Aberdeenshire cemetery have suffered “significant damage” after a car careered into a wall.

The collision occurred on the B977 between Balmedie and Belhelvie at around 4pm on July 23 and involved a silver Nissan Qashqai.

The 34-year-old driver of the car was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with serious injuries.

Belhelvie Church confirmed on Saturday that the car had crashed into the wall at the cemetery, and gravestones in the crash radius sustained “significant damage”.

“The only blessing we can see is that no one was killed in the incident”, said Reverend Dr Paul McKeown.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the injured driver and his family, to those who witnessed the event and responded to it, but also to the dozens of families who – since Saturday – have had to pick their way through the rubble of broken and toppled headstones and crash debris to see if their loved one’s resting place has been affected.

The church said it was the second time in over a year that the “exact same piece” of wall had been driven into.

Rev McKeown continued: “Beyond the immediate grief there are many questions being asked in our community. Why did this happen?

“What can be done to the roads system to stop it from happening again, and what recourse is there for folk who – depending on the insurance situation – may find themselves liable for a second round of costly repairs and replacements to family graves through absolutely no fault of their own.”

The graveyard has been cordoned off for the time being, until debris can be cleared to make it safe for visitors.

Sergeant Eoin Maxwell, from the North East Road Policing Unit, said: “Our enquiries into the crash are continuing and we are appealing for anyone who witnessed it or the vehicle involved, to please come forward and speak to officers.

“If you have any information, including dash-cam footage, which could assist our investigation please call us on 101, quoting incident 2416 of Saturday, July 23.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code