Cross commemorating crash victim removed, then returned

A memorial cross set up to remember a teenager who died in a car crash in Nova Scotia was removed on Wednesday by municipal staff. But it was returned on Thursday after a councillor intervened.

'I don't want it to happen to anyone else. It's like breaking a headstone,' says mother

Marlene Cooper says it was very upsetting when municipal staff removed the cross she set up close to the crash site. (Marlene Cooper/Facebook)

A memorial cross set up to remember a teenager who died in a car crash in Nova Scotia was removed on Wednesday by Halifax municipal staff, but it was returned the following day after a councillor intervened.

Kylie Cooper, 15, died on June 10 following a two-car collision in Wellington, N.S., ​on Highway 2 at Abilene Avenue about five kilometres north of Fall River. Joseph Dominix, 87, also died in the accident.

Marlene Cooper, Kylie's mother, said she set up the memorial near the crash site to commemorate her daughter and pay tribute to the people who tried to save her.

"It was a pretty little cross that her great-grandfather made her," said Cooper.

The cross was set up in the public right of way, which is 10 metres from the centre of the road. But five people complained about it.

'My heart just broke'

According to municipal rules, if anyone complains about a sign within the public right of way it is removed. But the decision devastated Kylie's family.

"My heart broke, just like the day it happened," said Cooper.

Steve Streatch, the councillor for the area, retrieved the cross and put it back up Thursday.

"I paced out the distance from the centre of the road and put it outside the public right of way," he said. "I apologized on behalf the mayor and council and laid flowers in her memory."

Streatch plans to ask for a staff report clarifying the policies regarding memorial crosses, much to Cooper's relief.

"I don't want it to happen to anyone else," she said. "It's like breaking a headstone."

Streatch also plans to meet with the family of Dominix to offer condolences and ask the two families involved in the accident to support each other.

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About the Author

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca