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Father Pleads with Santa Barbara County to Let Him Keep His Daughter’s Roadside Memorial

Santa Barbara County Public Works ordered Finn Lund to remove a roadside shrine dedicated to his daughter.

Lund’s daughter, Emma, was 19-years-old when she was killed in a car accident in 2015.

“She was like a little angel,” said Finn Lund, Emma’s father.

Emma Lund was returning home after she bought ice cream from a store in Buellton. Her dog Koda and a male passenger were in the car. She lost control of her 1992 Lexus and hit a tree on Ballard Canyon Road.

When she passed away, her father created a makeshift memorial. The memorial grew after many of her family members and friends visited.

“She touched a lot of lives and still to this day. Of course, people still think about her,” said Christina Welch, a family friend.

Lund says he kept the memorial tidy.

“In the beginning, there were hundreds of flowers and they were floating all over the road so I went out here and built a box that was sitting on the curb here. Not interrupting the road, but apparently somebody didn’t like the sight of it,” said Lund.

Santa Barbara County Public Works Department posted a notice by the memorial site. Scott McGolpin, the department’s director, sympathizes with the Lund Family.

“This one stayed up longer than most memorials and went over a year. Unfortunately, it continued to grow and from our perspective, that became a safety issue for the traveling public,” said McGolpin.

He says the department received a “couple” complaints about the memorial obstructing their right of way.

“I think it’s pretty rude. Heartless. They have no clue how much it hurts when you lose a kid,” said Lund.

He and his daughter, Maggie Lund, created a petition. Maggie is Emma’s twin sister. The family hopes the county will consider letting them keep Emma’s memorial.

Lund says the property owners closest to the memorial don’t have a problem with the shrine.

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