Heartless vandals rip up Emily and Brooke Salske memorial

THE mother of two Baranduda girls who died in a crash this year was yesterday stunned to find vandals had wrecked their roadside memorial.

Debbie Andrew said she couldn’t understand why anyone would want to rip up the white crosses, set in concrete on Baranduda Boulevard, dedicated to her daughters, Emily and Brooke Salske.

Emily, 10, and Brooke, 7, were killed on January 31 when the car they were in ran off the road and crashed into a tree.

The many flowers, gifts and notes left by school friends and families of the Baranduda Primary School pupils were pulled up and thrown aside.

It is believed the vandalism took place sometime on Saturday night.

Ms Andrew said her sister had seen the vandalised site early yesterday while on her way to visit her for Mother’s Day.

“She was absolutely distraught,” Ms Andrew said.

“I was devastated, too, but I won’t let people like that beat me.

“I don’t know why someone would do that. I just hope what has happened to my family doesn’t happen to them.”

The timing of the act was particularly resonant — yesterday marked Ms Andrew’s first Mother’s Day without her only two children.

“The lead-up to today was pretty horrendous,” she said last night.

“But I am lucky I have friends and family who have looked after me.”

Wodonga police’s Sgt Chris Parr said it was hard for officers to investigate such incidents because most roadside memorials were unauthorised.

“We would ask people to respect the feelings of the people who have lost loved ones in roadside accidents, and leave the memorials alone,” he said.