EVANSDALE — An apparent lightning strike scarred an Evansdale park established to memorialize children who died too young.
Huge chunks of concrete and dirt were blown out of the ground, exposing metal re-bar, around a bronze sculpture at Angels Park at Meyers Lake.
Damage at the island park was discovered Wednesday morning after overnight thunderstorms rolled through the area. Police were called to investigate.
“We don’t know 100 percent that it was lightning,” said Dona Frickson, a member of the Angels Park committee. “But just looking at it, it can’t be vandalism.
“It’s just crazy; it blew plants out of the ground,” she added. “We called a cement contractor and they’d never seen anything like it.”
An insurance adjuster has been called to examine the damage.
The sculpture by artist Jim Davidson titled “The Adventure,” which depicts children climbing a mountain, appeared to escape damage. But it may be necessary to look under the sculpture for damage.
Angels Park was created through a volunteer effort to turn the overgrown island into a memorial for cousins Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, who were abducted and killed in 2012. That crime remains unsolved.
The focus later shifted to remember others, including Lindsay Nichols, who at the age of 22 was murdered in March 2012; Donnisha Hill, who was 13 when she was abducted and murdered in October 2006; and Evelyn Miller, a 5-year-old from Floyd, who was killed in 2005.
Frickson said it was fortune none of the memorial bricks engraved with names of loved ones, which are placed in the concrete surrounding the sculpture, sustained damaged.
“It’s a miracle that not of them broke,” she said. “A lot of people put their money into those bricks. The fact that none of them were damaged … I totally believe our angels are with us.”
Making the repairs soon may be complicated due to the work on a new 150-foot-long bridge being constructed to replace an earthen causeway connecting the island to the lake’s north shore.
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