Mother meets officer that cleaned up daughter’s memorial at deadly intersection
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — After 22 years, Sherri Smith returned to her daughter’s memorial.
Smith’s daughter Shelby was struck and killed by a drunken driver at the intersection of Lynhurst Drive and Rockville Road in 1999.
Shelby’s memorial had overgrown grass, weeds and trash surrounding it. Officer Jeff Stagg of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department drove past it every day and said enough was enough.
“I thought, ‘This is wrong. I’m not going to let Shelby’s death be forgotten,’” Stagg said.
He cleaned it up and replaced the cross with a new one. Little did he know, a passerby filmed him and posted the video on TikTok. Smith, who lives in Texas, saw the video.
“She started getting calls and I started getting calls about me being on TikTok, which I had no idea I was even on,” Stagg said.
Smith and Stagg decided to meet for the first time at Shelby’s memorial.
“To me, it’s just the most awesome thing that she she can still be remembered,” Smith said.
She placed flowers and a picture of Shelby on the memorial.
Sgt. Tim Dowdy, the officer that arrested the drunken driver the night of the accident, also showed up at the memorial. He said, “I can still remember a lot of the details as if it happened yesterday.”
The memorial to honor Shelby is now a place for Smith, Stagg, and Dowdy to remember a young life taken too soon.