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Defendant Sentenced For Destruction Of Wayside Exhibit

De Soto National Memorial

National Park News

On July 17th, a woman was found guilty of reckless driving in a 2005 incident that caused $17,000 in damage to a park exhibit. Mary McLaughlin was found guilty of driving her vehicle through the closed park entrance gate, then traveling another 200 yards across the park mall/parking area before crashing into and destroying a concrete wayside exhibit located adjacent to the shoreline of Tampa Bay. The impact caused the vehicle to overturn, coming to rest approximately 20 feet from the water’s edge. McLaughlin was sentenced to six months probation, 25 hours of public service work, and a fine of $250. As a condition of her probation, she was also ordered to pay restitution of $17,000 to the park for replacement of the exhibit.



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