Family of men killed in Levin car crash offers reward for return of memorial items

Flowers and notes were placed as tributes on a lamp post at the scene of the horrific car crash in Levin.
WARWICK SMITH/STUFF

Flowers and notes were placed as tributes on a lamp post at the scene of the horrific car crash in Levin.

The family of three young men killed in a horror smash have offered a cash reward in an effort to get items taken from a roadside memorial returned.

Personal items including bandanas, toys, notes to the boys and photos were placed on a street pole in Levin after the July car crash that killed  them.

Heather Simonsen, the mother of two of the boys, discovered the items had been removed last week, and has appealed for someone to come forward and return them. 

Shand Cotgrove, and his son, Tyler. Shand died tragically in a crash in Levin on July 30.
LANE COTGROVE/SUPPLIED

Shand Cotgrove, and his son, Tyler. Shand died tragically in a crash in Levin on July 30.

She hoped that by offering money she will get her irreplaceable photos, notes and items back.

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A contractor places flowers at the scene of the fatal crash. Since then memorial items have been taken.
WARWICK SMITH/STUFF

A contractor places flowers at the scene of the fatal crash. Since then memorial items have been taken.

"This person has gone to a lot of effort at whatever hour of the night and taken it away," Simonsen whose sons Jesse Simonsen, 18  and Shand Cotgrove, 24 died in the crash said.

"To me they've trashed my  babies' grave site."

Jesse Simonsen,Cotgrove, and their friend Jacob Gray were killed when their car smashed into a parked truck in the early hours of a Sunday morning in late July, and burst into flames.

Jesse Simonsen, 18, was the youngest victim in the Levin crash.
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Jesse Simonsen, 18, was the youngest victim in the Levin crash.

After the crash, the site on Cambridge St, Levin  became a memorial. 

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"You think if someone had a problem with it they would talk to us," Cotgrove's partner Courtney Warren, said.

"I don't care who did it, I just want the stuff back."

Jacob Gray with his partner, Amy. Gray lost his life in the August 30 crash.
SUPPLIED

Jacob Gray with his partner, Amy. Gray lost his life in the August 30 crash.

Sergeant Paul Rainham,  said Levin police were aware the memorial pole had been stripped.

The removal of the items could be treated as theft or offensive behaviour, depending on what items were taken and for what reason, he said.

"It is disappointing that someone has taken the items without regard for the family," Rainham said. "You should have a little bit of respect for the family that is mourning."  

Anyone who knows where the items are can anonymously contact Crimestoppers or return them to the police station.  

Electra energy, which owns  and maintains the telegraph pole on Cambridge St, and Horowhenua District Council have confirmed their staff did not remove the items.

The council did not have a policy on roadside memorials and was unaware of any other roadside memorials,  Horowhenua district council's road servicing manager Kevin Peel said.

* The family has asked anyone who has the memorial photos and items, or know where they are, to return them in a secure bag to the site, or follow instructions left at the site. 

* Contact Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

 

 

 

 

 

 - Stuff

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