On July 17, 2009 Randy Scott Lopez was killed in a single vehicle accident on FM 3083 near at the intersection of Jefferson Chemical. He was southbound leaving Conroe when his truck left the right side of the roadway, went sideways crossing FM 3083 hitting the guardrail then slamming into the steel pole supporting the traffic control lights. He died at the scene.

Within weeks his mother Debra Lopez and other family members erected a memorial at the intersection. That was the first time. Since then a total of five crosses have been placed at the location. The last just a week ago. Each time the disappear.

Almost two weeks ago Debra Lopez’s daughter posted a message on Facebook  that someone had removed the crosses.

She wasn’t the only one, Conroe Police Officer Gary Hardage was killed in August of 2008  in a motorcycle accident on West Davis. His wife had placed a marker at that location and it too was stolen. Both families contacted TXDOT who said they did not remove them.

Sunday afternoon a twelve-year-old Michaela Delaney was doing a 4-H project. Photographing pipeline trails near FM3083. When she got under the bridge along Dry Creek along Fm 3083 she spotted a white cross lying on the ground. Not fifty-feet away was another much larger one on the bank of the creek, almost in the water.

Knowing these were important to someone she told her mother Randle Charbonneau-Delaney  who went home began searching Facebook for the post. The crosses were were quite heavy and access to the creek bed quite steep for her to attempt a recovery by herself.

Within an hour  the family responded to the scene and recovered both crosses. With the two recovered, Debra Lopez stood on the side of the road waiting for the sheriff’s office to respond so she could file a report.

In the mean time, Randy’s sister Stacey began walking into the wooded area and along the base of the next bridge almost 100 yards away in search of the other missing crosses. They were not found.

After the first ones came up missing they family built them stronger and to the point they would be difficult to remove. The cross that was recovered Sunday took two people to load on the truck.

The family has filed several theft reports with the sheriff’s office. They assigned a detective to it awhile back but still the crosses come up missing.

The family would like anyone with information on who is disrespectful enough to destroy a memorial to contact the sheriff’s office. The family also wishes to thank the young lady who spotted these crosses for telling her mother and her mother following up on it to get them back.

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  1. sandylane

    With all due respect, if the family wishes to erect a memorial on the site that their loved one passed, then that IS their right. The State of Texas agrees, otherwise, they wouldn’t issue permits for the memorials. I don’t consider the crosses that people put up are litter, I see them as tribute to the love they have for the person that was lost. Scott was the only son to Debra and Randy Lopez. It was a tremendous loss for our entire family. He was very much loved, and is extremely missed by all of us. I don’t know if bakermaker has ever had a sudden and tragic loss as this, and I would NEVER wish it on them, but please consider the families of these poor souls that lost their lives on our roadsides. If it gives them just the tiniest bit of peace, then let them have it. May God Bless You!

  2. bakermaker

    With all due respect to the deceased there is a place we can honor them without recourse – the cemetary. The roadside is no place to erect temporary structures. When the state puts a road sign up, it is usually a well built piece of equipment that wont rot away 6 weeks after it is put up. This is not the case with the balsa wood crosses you generally see littering the landscape. I know there are some out there that think it is their right to put these things up, but think of this for a second – if everyone put one of these memorials on the side of the road our highways would look like a cemetary!

  3. rebelbabe1978

    It is horrible that someone would be so heartless that they would destroy memorials for people that have passed away. As far as I am concerned it is not different then walking into a cemetary and destroying someone’s gravesite. Have some courtesy and just leave these memorials alone.

  4. chjedu

    It is so sad to see such displays of love destroyed in such a way. However, regardless of whatever these vandals do to remove or destroy roadside crosses, there’s one thing they can never remove or destroy, the lasting memories family and friends hold dear in their hearts.

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