MORRIS – Authorities are still looking for information on several vandalism incidents from last month that included the defacing of a display meant to prevent drunken driving.
Grundy County Coroner John Callahan has been telling the story for two years of Meagan Ahlstrom, who was killed by a drunken driver in Morris in 2009.
He displays the car that 24-year-old Ahlstrom died in when a drunken driver crashed into her while driving on Route 47 near the Grundy County Fairgrounds. Her mother, Rebecca Ahlstrom, lived and the family gave him permission to preserve the car to use as a reminder for the community not to drink and drive.
While it was being displayed at Morris Community High School last month for a health fair, someone vandalized it. Also vandalized at Morris Community High School was a Morris police squad car, another vehicle and the CSX transfer box at Union and Hazel streets.
“I was contacted personally by Meagan’s mother, Rebecca, and it was devastating to the whole Ahlstrom family and friends that this type of behavior and vandalism was played out here in Morris,” Callahan said.
“Their life was intruded on by this person that did this damage to this car,” he said.
The vehicle is permanently attached to a trailer. It is displayed with signs that say “Don’t Drink and Drive” and “Meagan’s Story.” The vandals spray-painted the signage and the picture of Meagan’s face.
The display has since been fixed and will be on display in Morris again before Thanksgiving to remind people to not drink and drive while out celebrating the holiday.
Morris Police Chief Brent Dite said the vandalisms that occurred during the weekend of Oct. 12 and 13 are still being investigated.
“There were a number of instances of vandalism and we are looking into all of them, individually and collectively,” he said.
The Grundy County Crime Stoppers issued a news release after the incidents seeking information from the public and reissued one Friday specific to the display vehicle, Sheriff Kevin Callahan said.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information on the crime that leads to the arrest of offenders. Call Crime Stoppers at 815-942-9667.
Callers can remain anonymous.