(Featured Image: Ian Goddard was a 14-year-old South Carleton High School student when he was killed in an accident at Franktown Road and Munster Road in April, 2021.)
The parents of former South Carleton High School student Ian Goddard are “devastated” after the memorial for their late son was vandalized over the holiday break.
“It’s just hard to believe that anyone would do this,” said Monique Larocque, Ian’s mother.
The memorial was put together in the spring of 2021 after Ian lost his life at the intersection of Franktown Road and Munster Road, west of Richmond. Ian was riding a dirt bike and was struck and killed by a car at what is known as one of the most dangerous intersections in the area.
Ian was 14 when he was killed in the accident, which happened April 18, 2021. During that week, schools were off for a delayed March Break. Because of a third wave of COIVD-19, students did not return to school after the break.
A hydro pole at the corner of where the accident happened was turned into a makeshift memorial for the young hockey player and dirt bike enthusiast. Behind the pole in the field at the corner, a memorial was created for Ian. The memorial includes a plaque, interlocked patio stones, a place to sit, and momentos of their son. The memorial was created in the corner of the farm field at the intersection, with permission of the landowner, by a local landscaper.
The Goddard family, as well as many of Ian’s friends, frequently visit the memorial.
“I was driving my truck by, and I was talking on the phone for something about work,” Brant Goddard said. “I go by there every day, and I noticed someone had taken Ian’s hockey sweater and some of the sticks and other things were missing. I went down there, and there was stuff everywhere.”
The centrepiece of the memorial is a plaque with Ian’s face, paying tribute to the young man. The hardest thing for Brant Goddard to see was the defaced and damaged plaque honouring his late son.
“It looks like someone took a hammer to it,” Brant said. “They dented the plaque and then they scratched his face with the claws of the hammer. When I saw it, I was angry. I was mortified.”
The damage to the plaque was the worst part of the vandalism for Monique.
“It makes me cry every time I see it,” she said. “It breaks my heart.”
When Brant and Monique went back to the site together, they found parts of the memorial thrown in the bush. One small sign was destroyed, but some of the pieces were left in tact.
“Being there and seeing what happened to the memorial brought a lot of the memories and feelings back,” Monique said. “It was very difficult to see, and it was hurtful to see that someone would do something like this. We just can’t understand why.”
Monique posted photos on her Facebook page, and the reaction from the community was immediate.
“A lot of people reacted to the post and reached out to us,” she said. “People were offering to help us rebuild the memorial and do whatever was needed. People wanted to make donations so that we could replace some of the things that were destroyed.”
One of the silver linings in the dark cloud of the tragedy and situation were learned by Brant and Monique as they talked to people in the area.
“People were telling us that they would go past the memorial and they would talk to their kids about safety and they would tell them what happened to Ian,” Brant said. “The memorial became a teaching tool for parents.”
“People use it for positive reasons,” Monique added. “It’s nice that Ian is making an impact on these families, and hopefully we won’t see anything like this happen to them.”
The couple called the Ottawa Police after seeing the damage done to the memorial. They are asking anyone with any information on the vandalism to contact the Ottawa Police. The report number is T23033374.