UPDATED: Soldier’s grave destroyed by L-driver taking a lesson through Landican Cemetery (From Wirral Globe)
Send us news by text, start your message Globe News and your send photos and videos to 80360
UPDATED: Soldier’s grave destroyed by L-driver taking a lesson through Landican Cemetery
THE headstone of a Wirral soldier killed on overseas duty in 2008 has been destroyed by a learner driver taking an early morning lesson through Landican Cemetery.
Lance Corporal Terik Lines, 27, from Birkenhead, lost his life when the armoured truck he was driving collided with a van while he was serving in Kenya.
He was buried with military honours at Landican. Terik’s was one of four headstones damaged when the vehicle went out of control this morning.
Wirral Council, which manages the cemetery, says there are no bye-laws preventing driving lessons being taken there.
Terik’s grieving mum, Les, told the Globe: “I have seen proper driving schools going through here, but apparently this time it was a parent teaching his child.
“The grave is completely wrecked and obviously there are items on it which can never be replaced.
“I think it’s very disrespectful to have driving lessons in Landican. "People come here to pay their respects to their loved ones – it should never be used for teaching people to drive.
“There are many more appropriate places in Wirral where people can take their lessons.”
However, Les said she bears no animosity towards the learner driver: “It is easily done and I’ve got nothing against the person who has done this. “It was an accident, and that’s the end of it. “I’d have been far more annoyed if it had been a joyrider.
“Thankfully, the grave stones are going to be replaced by Landican and we don’t have to pay anything towards it.”
Terik died on the morning of December 4, 2008. An inquest at Wallasey Town Hall 18 months later heard that Terik, a member of the Royal Engineers, was driving an armed Toyota twin-cab vehicle when it collided with a van and landed in a ditch.
He died at the scene from his injuries. His Regiment has been informed of the gravestone damage. Also among the headstones destroyed was that of Kitty Craze. Her niece, who asked not to be named, said:
"The whole family is really upset by this. I would like to see a total ban on people driving through the cemetery.
"People should not be allowed to learn to drive through a place where people have been put to rest. I've never known anything like it, notices need to be put up to stop this happening again."
A council spokesman said: “There is no specific bylaw prohibiting learner drivers from using the roads at Landican. However we would expect people to be sensitive and use their common sense and to respect the needs of others.”
Council officers have contacted families of three of the five memorials affected, and are writing to the remaining two to explain that the memorials will all be restored or replaced via a claim on the driver’s insurance.
“One of the affected memorials was that of Lance Corporal Terik Lines. Council officers have contacted Lance Corporal Lines’s family to explain the situation."