Harsh note left on roadside memorial for crash victim - KMSP-TV

Harsh note left on roadside memorial for Apple Valley crash victim

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It seems someone doesn't want a makeshift memorial honoring the victim of an alleged drunk driving crash to be there, but friends and family say a harsh note left at the site broke their hearts anew.

Even if the site honoring Jeff Trondson does violate some unwritten ordinance in Apple Valley or Dakota County, one thing is clear -- the memorial is a sacred space for those who still mourn the loss of a life they say was stolen by an alleged drunk driver in June.

"It's someplace I go every day," Dave Williams told Fox 9 News. "I just can't see why this is upsetting anyone when it means so much to my family."

Since June, Williams has visited the site where he lost his son each day. Sometimes he stops and sits at the corner of 106th Street and Harwell Avenue, even in the cold. Whatever the weather, it's no bother to the man who just wants to honor the life of his son, a man he also calls his best friend.

"It's been almost four months, and it seems like yesterday," Williams said.

During his visit on Tuesday, Williams was appalled when he found a note that read: "This is not a memorial! Please remove this within 24 hours or it will all go to trash!"

"We keep it all clean and respectful," Williams protested. "I [saw] this and I'm like, 'Why would anyone want to desecrate his memorial?"

The grieving father admits the harsh note left him heartbroken since the scene is the last place that he saw his son.

"I get comforted when I go there," he explained.

Trondson's friends were also outraged by the note.

"They said it's not a memorial site -- bulls***t it's not a memorial site. This is," Ryan Dehn insisted. "This is where it all happened. This is where we come to remember our very good friend."

Dehn's brother, Justin, admitted the note filled him with disgust.

"Makes me sick," he said. "Makes me very angry."

Fox 9 News asked neighbors if they knew who was responsible for the note, and Justin Dehn got the answer.

"It wasn't the neighbors, but somebody's out there doing something they wouldn't do," he said.

Without anyone to discuss the issue with, Williams is left baffled and in disbelief.

"I have no idea what kind of person would do this," he said. "I don't know. That's hurtful. They want to throw it in the trash?"

To whomever taped the note to the space Williams and the Dehns consider sacred, they can't help but beg the question.

"What is it hurting you?" Williams asked. "It means so much to my family and my son's friends, and to me. How can this hurt you? I just don't understand."

Fox 9 News spoke to the traffic division in Apple Valley, but they deferred questions to the Dakota County highway spokesmen. Those spokesmen referred questions back to the city, but on Wednesday, a county representative sent an e-mail saying the display is legal for 6 months and a permit could keep it there longer.

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