Grave collapses at West View Cemetery in Augusta, same cemetery with previous issues

Collapsed grave at West View Cemetery in Augusta (Source: WRDW/WAGT)
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Monday, Nov. 18, 2019
News 12 at 6 O'Clock

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Back in August, News 12 told you about issues with upkeep at West View Cemetery near Lake Olmstead in Augusta.

A mom, whose son is buried there, said she had to maintain the area, because no one else was.

And while the grass may have been cut, Tracie Poole said there's a much bigger issue now, a collapsed grave, just feet away from her son.

"It brings us peace to come out here every day,” Poole said. “It's how we start our day."

Poole goes to West View every day to visit her son, who's buried there.

She said since the graves often go neglected, she does what she can to keep the ones near her son, beautiful.

"I put flowers on the graves, just because no one else does,” Poole said.

But on Saturday, when her husband was walking around cemetery, he noticed something unusual.

"He just said, where's the headstone?” Poole said. “And he walked over there and found the hole."

One of the graves, just feet away from her son's, collapsed in on itself.

She called to report the issue, and was told it would be filled in, which it was while we did our interview.

We reached out to Augusta's Parks and Recreation Department, who's in charge of upkeep at city cemeteries.

They told us collapses can happen with things like rain or older graves, and when they do, they fill them back up.

But Poole believes it's a deeper-rooted issue, and throwing some dirt on it is not the solution she's looking for.

"It makes me fear that one day when I’m gone, the same might happen to my son,” Poole said. “And if I didn't come out here every day, and this were to happen, they wouldn't contact me."

The deputy director of the parks division said they have people checking regularly on the graves.

However, he added they have a lot to maintain, so if someone notices an issue before they do, be sure to report it.

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