Vandal destroys ornamental trees
by The Press and Standard | March 21, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: March 20, 2019 at 8:46 am
Walterboro police officers are searching for the driver of a white pickup truck that vandalized the trees and planters installed in the first completed section of the city’s I-95 Business Loop the evening of March 17.
Shortly before 8:30 p.m., witnesses to the vandalism incident called city police to South Jefferies Boulevard.
Witnesses said the driver of the white truck was driving erratically northbound, running over numerous crape myrtle trees in the planters placed in the median of South Jefferies Boulevard.
One witness said the truck’s driver entered the southbound lanes, causing them to pull off the roadway into the Dairy Land parking lot at the intersection of South Jefferies Boulevard and Green Pond Highway.
Another witness said her vehicle was struck by one of the trees that the truck knocked into the roadway.
Officers searched the area in an unsuccessful attempt to locate the vehicle.
The morning after the incident, city officials including Police Chief Wade Marvin and Parks Director Ryan McLeod arrived at the site to assess the damage and look for possible evidence that might assist in locating the vandal’s vehicle.
McLeod reports that the vandal destroyed nine Natchez Crape Myrtle trees worth $4,014. A 10th tree that was left unscathed by the vandalism attack was removed from the planter and will be replanted elsewhere by city workers.
He added that there was some damage to the planter’s irrigation system, but the level of damage to the irrigation system can’t be determined until it has been tested.
Work crews will also have to level the ruts the truck’s tires left in the planters and reapply pine straw.
Once all the costs of the vandalism have been determined, McLeod said, the information will be turned over to the city’s finance department, which will handle submitting a claim to the insurance company.
He added that city officials are assessing the options for replanting.