Shannon Hamilton's is convinced his daughter would still be alive today had the local government only acted sooner, so he decided to take action on his own.
“My baby girl told my heart to do it," Hamilton told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
But when he did, he was arrested.
Hamilton's 18-year-old daughter, Cecily Mcree Hamilton, died in a car accident in White County, Georgia, last month when the car she and 18-year-old Taylor Scott Swing were riding in crashed into the water beneath a bridge. The bridge where it happened was a backroad bridge and didn't have any guardrails along the sides.
White County has plans to build a safety barricade eventually but has to wait for an engineering report before beginning construction. But Hamilton isn't satisfied with how quickly the project is shaping up.
“Every day that goes by is another day that we’re risking a life that goes into that creek,” Hamilton said.
So Hamilton, who works at a quarry, decided to construct a temporary barricade with his own hands until a permanent blockade could be set up. He brought his own Bobcat machinery to the site and began planning, even considering how to route runoff to avoid potential environmental hazards.
But before Hamilton could finish the project, deputies from the White County Sheriff's Department showed up and arrested him on charges of interfering with government property. Officers tried to talk Hamilton out of it before taking him into custody, but when the grieving dad wouldn't stop, they had no other choice. Police later released him on bond.
The father now says he doesn't condone breaking the law but said he has no regrets about what he did.
“Tomorrow’s never promised. It’s the way I’m grieving, and I’m staying positive to get through the days," Hamilton said.
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