Vandals target memorial, parents think revenge - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Vandals target memorial, parents think revenge

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

It's tough for a parent to pick up the pieces after losing a child.

"Oh my God, I couldn't believe it.  I got out of the vehicle and just literally fell to the ground.  It was so devastating.  It was like I was just violated and victimized all over again," Margaret Smith said.

In 2008, Margaret's 18-year-old daughter, Meaghan, was struck and killed by a drunk driver on Highway 105 and Sapp Road in Conroe, Texas.  Meaghan took her last breaths along the side of the road.

Margaret built a memorial to her daughter at the site and found peace, until now.

"The cross was actually in pieces.  It looks like someone actually walked up to it and took their foot and snapped the bottom of the cross.  Her picture was taken and that's what really upset," she said.

You could just write this off as random vandalism but not Margaret because of what she does in memory of her daughter.

"There have been so many lives saved just by us patrolling the roadways," she said.

She and her husband have operated the non-profit DWI Tracker program.  Through donations, they patrol the streets of Montgomery County.  They follow suspected drunk drivers, videotape them and call law enforcement.  

So far, they have been instrumental in more than a hundred DWI arrests.  You can see why the Smiths could make enemies, why someone may want to retaliate by desecrating their memorial.

"What a better way than to destroy their daughter's cross and take her picture.  Yes, it was horrible, whoever did it," Margaret said.

The vandalism comes at a time when the loss of Meaghan is compounded by the holidays, but Margaret said this is just a temporary setback.  She is going to rebuild the memorial and keep after those who drink and drive.

The Conroe Police Department has a report on the case.  We have not been able to reach them to determine if they are actively investigating the case.

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