Last updated: 04:30 PM ET, Tue July 14 2015

Serpent Mound Memorial Damaged by Joy-Riding Teenager

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | July 14, 2015

Serpent Mound Memorial Damaged by Joy-Riding Teenager

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Serpent Mound is one of the most important effigies from prehistoric times found in the United States, but that fact didn't stop one teenager from taking his truck off-roading on one of the smaller mounds, causing serious surface damage.

According to Carrie Blackmore Smith of the Cincinnati Enquirer, 19-year-old Daniel Coleman Dargavell admitted to authorities that he jumped the curb in the parking lot with his white pickup truck and attempted to drive over the 2,000-year-old Adena Mound in Peebles, Ohio.

The incident took place in the middle of the night during the Fourth of July weekend.

Dargavell’s truck tore the sod apart on Adena Mound and left deep gouges in the dirt from the spinning tires. According to Serpent Mound State Memorial manager Tim Goodwin, the damage is extensive, but it can and will be repaired and should be back to normal within a few months.

The teenager was charged with two counts of fifth-degree felony vandalism and is currently out of jail on bond. The charges have the potential to carry prison time.

While Goodwin is thankful the mound wasn’t damaged more, he still claims the act of vandalism violated the sacred grounds, and the incident has raised questions about how the property is protected.

The Serpent Mound State Memorial consists of the Great Serpent Mound, the Adena Mound, and several other man-made prehistoric structures, but only the Adena Mound and some surrounding property was damaged by the teenager’s joy ride.

Supporters of the memorial have demanded that the site employ a caretaker to oversee the property at all times, but Goodwin explained the plan for right now will be to install more surveillance cameras.

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