Police: Drunk driver causes $100,000 in damage to Nicholasville cemetery

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Maple Grove Cemetery in Nicholasville has tens of thousands of dollars in damages after police said a man under the influence crashed his truck.

Nicholasville police said Thomas Garner drove his truck into the cemetery on Friday night. When the Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene, the 47-year-old attempted to flee his Chevrolet Silverado pickup. According to an arrest citation, Garner was unsteady on his feet and there was a strong odor of alcoholic beverages and slurred speech.

According to the arrest citation, Garner told the officer several times that he was “f****** drunk.” When asked if he was injured, the subject replied, “F*** you… Arrest me.”

Garner was booked in the Jessamine County Detention Center. According to the arrest citation, Garner’s preliminary breath test was .222 BAC and he stated he knew he was “over.” Garner is charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, first degree criminal mischief and reckless driving.

Doug Blackford, girector of General Government with the City of Nicholasville, called the damages extensive. According to Blackford, an initial assessment showed $75,000 to $100,000 in damages, although he called that figure very conservative. Blackford said at least 22 headstones and foundations, along with monuments were damaged or destroyed.

Blackford said the city’s legal team is pursuing damages and will work to make the necessary repairs but said gravestone and monument repair companies, like so many others, are experiencing delays. He estimates repair work to take six to nine months.

According to Blackford, the city hopes to contact family members on Wednesday. Anyone who thinks a loved ones grave or monument may be affected can call the City of Nicholasville at 859-885-1121.

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