FOURMILE, Ky. (AP) - Dorothy Lingar couldn't believe what she
saw - a bulldozer shoving family graves, both marked and unmarked,
over a hill.
Lingar and other family members were upset last week when the
bulldozer, contracted to Vinland Energy of London, Ky., plowed
through a family cemetery near Fourmile, in southeastern Kentucky.
"We have never went through anything like this. We're
shocked," said Lingar, as she recalled walking through the family
cemetery as a child. "That's our history, our flesh and blood, and
we are upset. These were good people and they don't deserve to be
treated this way."
The incident happened Wednesday, as the bulldozer cleared land
for a Vinland project in the area. Vinland Energy Vice President of
Operations Scott Gilbert told the Middlesboro Daily News the
company is aware of what happened at the cemetery.
"We're sorry that we disturbed it," Gilbert said. "We're
going to do what we can."
But, for Lingar and Bill Dun, a Middlesboro resident with family
buried in the cemetery, the destruction of the graves is
Dunn saw the bulldozer as he rode a four-wheeler near the
cemetery, in the Dew-Well Hollow, and realized what was happening.
After approaching the bulldozer operator, Dunn said, the work
"He was real remorseful," Dunn said. "Everyone that I've
talked with so far has been sympathetic."
Gilbert said the company had no idea that the cemetery was there
and pointed to maps of Bell County, which don't list the graveyard.
Gilbert also said the company checks with local officials before
"It wasn't on a map," Gilbert said. "Who in their right
mind's going to disturb a cemetery?"
Lingar, with a great-grandfather, Pleasant "Pleas" Elliott,
buried on the property, and Dunn said someone should have noticed
"I mean whoever walked up there and tied that survey ribbon had
to see it," Dunn said. "We just want the site cleaned up, so we
can see how many graves there is... And hopefully, they will
recreate the cemetery because this is part of our history."
Information from: The Daily News,
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)