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Best Friends Forever
 

Road:                        Hwy 395, 2 miles north of the 15 Fwy Interchange, Hesperia
Location:                  Hesperia, California

Victim #1:   James Donley
Date of Accident:   
August 23, 2002
Date of Birth:           October 29, 1985

Inscription:              "James Donley, 16 Years Old, 10-29-85  8-23-02
   
                                         Your family will miss you.  Christ is with you forever / Rest in peace;

                                            WE LOVE YOU ALWAYS!"

Age:                                 16
Special Items
:            Heart-shaped rock with inscription, Matchbox car (hot rod), photo of the victim, and large wooden shamrock.
 

Victim #2:                 Neal ????
Date of Accident:   
August 23, 2002
Date of Birth:          
?

Inscription:              "Neal"
Age
:                                 ?
Special Items
:            Ashtray, coffee cup, stuffed animal, and Matchbox car (monster truck)
 

Victim #3:                 Nolan ????
Date of Accident:   
August 23, 2002
Date of Birth:          
?

Inscription:              "Nolan"
Age
:                                 ?

Special Items:            Sports bottle and Matchbox car (yellow sedan)
 

Victim #4:    Peggy ????
Date of Accident:   
August 23, 2002
Date of Birth:          
?

Inscription:              "Peggy"
Age
:                                 ?

Special Items:            Stuffed animals, photo of the victim, and Matchbox car (red sedan)
 

Victim #5:                 Jason ????
Date of Accident:   
August 23, 2002
Date of Birth:          
?

Inscription:              "Jason"
Age
:                                 ?
Special Items
:            Eagle, box with fake roses, ceramic angel, friendship bracelet, and Matchbox car (red truck)

Description:            This huge roadside memorial pays tribute to 5 teens killed in a horrific accident.  5 metal white crosses stand vigil at the site.  Each cross is painted with the name of a victim, and some even have the victim's photo attached.  USMC stickers are affixed to each cross under the name, and all crosses have their own Matchbox car.  A second, larger cross is dedicated to James Dooley, and is adorned with his photo and Xmas garland.  A huge, aluminum cross, wearing a black cowboy hat, looms in the background.  This cross is possibly a tribute to James, as it has a handwritten inscription to him on the back.  It may also be the first cross put on the site after the accident.  Potted plants, flowers, a large wooden shamrock, and stuffed animals surround the crosses of this memorial.  A medium-sized American flag sits in front of the tribute.
 

Analysis:                 Man, this is REALLY disturbing.  In terms of sheer scale, this is the biggest roadside memorial with the most victims that I have ever seen.  5 teenagers cut down in the prime in one tragic car accident.  I can't even imagine how all 5 could be killed at once - - it must have been a fiery, horrible crash.  The family of James Dooley seems to be the drivers behind this monument, as James has the biggest, most prominent memorial.  Since I took these pictures in 2002, the memorial has morphed into a more subtle, permanent monument off Hwy. 395 in Hesperia.

More Images:    Photo Two - Photo Three - Photo Four - Photo Five - Photo Six - Photo Seven - Photo Eight

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