THE repair bill to fix the damage caused at a cemetery after a car ploughed into a brick wall will cost around £40,000.
Bereaved families were devastated after 15 headstones were damaged when the car crashed into a Maltby Cemetery wall in Grange Lane in May.
Dignity, which run the cemetery on behalf of Rotherham Council, is covering the cost of the repairs - but work is yet to start due to red tape around headstone ownership.
Repairing the 15 headstones is set to cost around £15,000 and rebuilding the cemetery’s historic wall is expected to cost £25,000.
Talking about the repair work delay, Dignity regional manager Nicola Cook said: “We are seeking the permission of families to authorise repairs to the headstones that were damaged following a car accident on May 28.
“Their authorisation is required before the repairs because the damaged headstones are their property - in some cases this means transferring ownership from the original purchaser to their next of kin, so the process is taking some time.”
Ms Cook said a local stonemason had already been found to carry out the repairs to the headstones and part of the cemetery wall.
The remaining restoration of the wall needed a specialist builder due to its historical significance, she said, because the railings had been made by local miners and the bricks were originally from Maltby Brickyard.
Ms Cook said she recognised it had been a distressing time for the families affected and Dignity was working hard to ensure the repairs were made as quickly as possible.
Maltby resident Pauline Pearson (69) said she had been upset to see her parents’ graves damaged as well as her brother-in-law’s.
“I hope they can get repaired soon,” she added.
Sheila Blackburn (68) had been shocked to see her husband Ian’s headstone flattened after almost 30 years tending to his grave.
Mrs Blackburn said the person who had made her husband’s headstone had died and she was waiting for a local stonemason to carry out the repairs.
“I’m not fed up of waiting really - I’m just happy with the fact the work will be done, so it’s all OK for me,” she added.
- Luke Lawther (22), of Birks Holt Drive, Maltby, was treated at the scene of the collision for minor injuries, said a spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Police. He is due to appear at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday charged with driving a motor vehicle without a licence, MOT or insurance.