Family of man killed by drunk driver searches for memorial vandal

New London

EAST LYME, Conn. (WTNNH)– This is the third time family and friends have put up a memorial honoring Frank Barabas.

“We’ll keep putting it up higher and higher and higher,” said Kevin Lawlor. “It ain’t going to deter us. It’s disgusting.”

Not only was the cross hung higher the second time but they also hung a trail camera nearby which captured pictures of the man they say vandalized the memorial along Route 1 in East Lyme in the early morning hours of Sunday November 17th.

“It’s very hurtful,” said the victim’s mother Carlene Barabas. “It feels like somebody stuck a knife in my heart.”

Barabas’s son was killed in July after a car turning into the Rustic Cafe drove right in front of the Montville man’s motorcycle. Police say Kimberly Zoller had been drinking. 

Related: Friends of motorcyclist killed by drunk driver gather at suspect’s court appearance

The memorial marks the spot where the accident happened.

“It got taken apart again,” Barabas said through tears. “That was my son and it was his memory.”

“It was right over there and I found the cross over there,” said the victim’s nephew Tommy Lawlor. 

The cross and some of the items were found in the woods across the street. Memories and mementos tossed aside.

“I don’t know who could have that mentality and do something so sickening like that,” said Tommy Lawlor.

Related: Victim identified in fatal car vs motorcycle accident in East Lyme

Not only did the vandal take down the memorial but he also spray painted over a white cross which was painted along the side of the road.

Today that too was restored as one of the neighbors who was there the day of the accident stopped to meet Barabas’s family.

“It was so sad,” she told the family.

“This family is terrific,” said friend Eric Morton. “I lost a friend but I gained a family.”

“I’ve said before,” said Tommy Lawlor. “The more stuff they take away we’ll put double.”

But they hope they don’t have to and they hope someone recognizes the man in the trail camera pictures. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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