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Effort Underway To Replace Historic Allegheny Cemetery Gates

LAWRENCEVILLE (KDKA) - Two women were taken to the hospital after the car they were in crashed through the gates of a cemetery.

According to police, the driver failed to negotiate a turn on Butler Street in Lawrenceville and drove into the gates of the Allegheny Cemetery.

The guard house gates have sealed the main entrance to Allegheny Cemetery since 1848.

"There were some people returning home from celebrating and accidentally entered Allegheny Cemetery thought iron gates," Pittsburgh Public Safety Spokeserson Sonya Toler said.

Her totaled car came to a rest about 200 feet beyond the gates -- but remarkably neither she nor her female passenger had any external injuries.

"Nothing. No scratches or bruises we could tell," Toler said.

The same cannot be said for the gate itself which in the cold light of day lay in pieces on the cemetery grass -- a sad sight for Anne Davis -- a Lawrenceville resident who often visit the graves of her relatives here.

"It was fortunate that the women in the car were not killed but sad for us to lose an irreplaceable piece of architecture."

The cemetery is the historic resting place of Stephen Foster and civil war dead. The gate itself -- made of cast iron and fine metal workmanship is 168 years old -- and cannot be welded back together.

"I'm sure they'll do something nice and befitting but you can't replace this," Davis said.

The as yet unidentified driver and her passenger were transported to UPMC Presbyterian hospital for observation and she was given a blood test to determine suspected alcohol content, depending on the results she will likely face charges.

The women were not seriously injured but the damage has been done. The loss of a piece of Pittsburgh history that can never be replaced.

An effort has been started to try and help raise some $20,000 to replace the gates.

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