Family replaces vandalized crosses - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Family replaces vandalized crosses

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Four families lose their loved ones in a DWI crash and then vandals desecrate the memorial--not once, but twice.

Driving by you'd hardly notice the four battered wooden sticks and who they stood for. In September, Dina Diaz and her husband found the memorial crosses in pieces. It's the second time it's happened.

"We passed and saw the crosses were on the ground and were hanging like somebody kicked them or something," Diaz said. "We were very hurt."

Diaz's daughter Jocelyn went on a double date Memorial Day weekend of 2002.

"She was my baby, my only daughter," Diaz said.

Twenty-one-year-old Jocelyn was with her boyfriend Gareth Davies, and husband and wife--Donny and Colleen Rini. On their way home, a woman under the influence of alcohol and drugs hit Diaz's car. The Rinis left a 1-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son behind.

"You always have somebody in your family where everyone gravitates to because they're funny and fun to be around and she was it," Michelle Seymour said of her sister. "[Donny and Colleen], they were meant to be together and as sad as it is it's good they went together because I don't know how either one of them would've survived if one had stayed behind."

The Rinis' children, Adam and Karly are now 11 and 12 years old. Their aunt and uncle are raising them.

Wednesday, the Rinis and the Diaz family reunited to remove the broken boards. Adam carefully hammered on his parents name tags. Together, everyone put up new crosses just as it should have been all along.

"I just hope somebody can leave them alone. They deserve to be here and need to be here," Seymour said.

It was a difficult time for the families to have to do this.

"Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and that spot at the table is going to be empty," said Diaz.

They don't want you to have to go through the same thing.

"Look. Four people dead," Diaz said. "Alcohol destroys families."

"What I would say is everybody deserves to go out and have a good time. And they're going to. So, if you're going to do that then make sure you call a cab or you have somebody sober to drive because it's not worth it," said Seymour.

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