DOT says memorial can stay until June
State transportation officials say memorial to woman can stay until June
MADISON, Wis. — A roadside memorial for Maureen Mengelt, who was killed by a drunken driver, will be allowed to stay in its current location in Sun Prairie, according to Kevin Mengelt, Maureen Mengelt’s husband.
Kevin Mengelt said he worked with the WisDOT to allow the memorial to stay in its current location until June 1.
Maureen Mengelt was killed last year while running near the intersection of Highway 19 and the exit ramp to Highway 151. She was struck and killed by a hit-and-run drunken driver.
The roadside memorial was placed near the spot where she died this past summer. It was paid for through donations from businesses and individuals in the community.
Prior to constructing the memorial, Jon Freund, the mayor of Sun Prairie, said the city let the Wisconsin DOT know about the project. The land where the memorial sits is owned by the DOT.
An anonymous complaint resulted in an order from the WisDOT in September for the removal of the memorial. Almost 5,000 members of the community signed an online petition calling for the memorial to remain.
Kevin Mengelt said the plaque will probably be moved before the June 1 deadline to Orfan Park near a bench and some trees that have been put in the park in honor of Maureen.
“I was frustrated at times, but I think the resolution will allow us to see it in place for some time, and then try to move it to a location that will incorporate a run and hopefully keep strong memories for my wife around,” Kevin Mengelt said.
Mengelt said an anonymous donor has come forward to cover the cost of moving the memorial.