Family heartbroken over removal of makeshift memorial

FLINT TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (07/11/18) - A Mid-Michigan family is heartbroken and looking for answers after the memorial they put up to honor their father killed in a car accident was just tossed.

They say Flint Township workers removed the memorial, which had been in place on Bristol Road near Bishop International Airport for three years -- untouched.

So the family wants to know why there's an issue with it, now.

"I wouldn't even think about whether this is allowed to be here or not. I would never just throw it in the ditch," said grieving son Kyle Maddox.

He doesn't need a reminder of his late father, Britton. He thinks about him everyday.

"He was killed three years ago in a very tragic car accident," Maddox said.

Passing by the memorial near the site of the accident on Bristol Road near the airport has offered comfort to him and family for the past three years.

That is until just a few days ago, when he says someone callously threw it in a ditch.

"It's just very disheartening to our family, because in the three years it's been here, we've taken well good care of it. We've kept up on the grass and everything and in the three years. It's never had any issues, we haven't had any complaints and we are just beside ourselves," Maddox said.

He reached out to Flint Township officials about why the memorial was tossed aside and then put it back up a few days later.

"It's from our understanding that they were hired by Flint Township to take care of this area and they were here mowing and pitched it in the ditch and left it there," Maddox said.

Flint Township's supervisor referred questions about the memorial to the Genesee County Road Commission, which said roadside memorials are not allowed in the road right-of-way for the safety of drivers.

But Maddox doesn't believe the memorial is a distraction.

"All over the county, you see memorials that are obstructing views. You see overgrown grass that is not kept up," he said. "They don't have to go out looking for that, they can see it in plain sight. They should be keeping up on that and not worrying about a memorial that's been here for three years that hasn't caused any problems or concerns."

The memorial is back up for now. Maddox said his family is trying to decide whether to leave it and risk it being removed again or move it to another location.