Cemetery grounds damaged after backhoe gets a flat

Damage caused by heavy machinery at the Greenwood Cemetery in northwest Grand Rapids. (Courtesy Steve Souza)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids man says he was shocked when he saw damage caused by heavy machinery at a city-owned cemetery.

The damage was caused after city officials say a backhoe headed to open a new grave at the Greenwood Cemetery in northeast Grand Rapids got a flat tire. Other equipment was brought in to fix the issue prompting more damage to the grounds.

Tony Souza, who has relatives buried at the cemetery noticed flags knocked down and roughed-up ground. Some headstones were partially covered with dirt.

“I looked down and seen that and said ‘oh my God, what happened here?'” Souza said. “To crush our flags like that and not even have the courtesy to get out and pick them up — that shouldn’t be.”

A City of Grand Rapids spokesman said the city would repair the damage in the spring.

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