Veteran’s grave collapses at Lowell cemetery

LOWELL, MA (WHDH) - A man paying respects to a loved one said he sunk into a veteran’s grave at a Lowell cemetery.

Tommy Foster said he was at Westlawn Cemetery to visit his brother-in-law’s grave when the ground gave way underneath him. He ended up knee-deep in the hole, on top of where a veteran had been buried. The man resting there died in 1970.

“You could see that the top of the coffin was literally non-existent at this point,” said Foster. “It had all rotted away. And the remains were just in the bottom of the vault.”

Foster said the top of the vault that had the casket inside was less than a foot underground. The cemetery had just thrown dirt over the hole, which Foster called unacceptable because the casket had rotted away.

“Gentleman here is a veteran, he’s a Marine. They deserve our respect and the honor that comes with their dedication and service,” said Foster.

A company has volunteered to donate a new cover for the vault next week. Foster said the cemetery told him they have yet to be able to contact the veteran’s family.

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