BOCA RATON, FL (Boca Post) (Copyright © 2023) — The county says sorry after removing a roadside memorial that has been in unincorporated Boca Raton for the last 27 years.

A memorial on the north side of West Palmetto Park Road, just west of the Turnpike overpass, in unincorporated Boca Raton, is to be restored.

This, of course, is after the memorials mysteriously disappeared earlier this week. In a social media uproar, the community demanded answers. Many originally claimed the removal was an act of vandalism of sorts. Some have even said the removal was the result of the “woke mob”. Some have expressed their satisfaction with the removal of the memorials, calling the scene an “eyesore”, while many others expressed their outrage.

The memorial, which consisted of 4 crosses and 1 Star of David, was originally placed to memorialize and honor the 5 teens killed in a crash at the site in 1996. One of the teens killed in the crash was Dori Slossberg, the daughter of former Florida lawmaker, Irv Slossberg, and twin-sister of former Florida lawmaker, Emily Slosberg-King.

In a statement made late on Thursday evening, the county has apologized for removing the memorial:

“On Friday, August 18, 2023, Palm Beach County Engineering and Public Works staff removed the memorials from four sites, including the memorial located on the south side of Palmetto Park Road, approximately 0.4 miles west of the Florida Turnpike. The memorial’s position was outside of Palm Beach County’s Right of Way, and the removal was in error.

The County has contacted the family of this memorial site to re-install the memorial at its original location. Palm Beach County offers its deepest sympathy to all families involved.”

Employees with the Palm Beach County Public Works department, under the direction of the Engineering department, removed the memorial. While PBC did not specifically say why the work was originally initiated, officials acknowledge it was done in error. While no timeline was provided, the county has acknowledged that they will re-install the memorial.

The Memorials History

Many people who said they were happy about the memorial admitted they don’t know the history of it. Many have said they knew that it must have been a bad accident, but were not aware of the details.

On Feb. 23, 1996, 7 teenagers were in a Honda Civic, driven by Nicholas Copertino, 19, who they had only met that night. The Civic was traveling westbound at about 90 mph on Palmetto Park Road when it jumped the median and slammed into a car traveling east. The teens in the rear of the vehicle were ejected. Margaux Schehr, 13; Carolina Gil, 14; Dori Slosberg, 14; Ryan Rashidian, 15; and Crystal Cordes, 14, were all killed that night.

Emily Slosber, twin sister of Dori Slosberg, survived the crash with a punctured lung and several broken bones. Maribel Farinas, 14, was paralyzed after the crash.

Nicholas Copertino, who was later convicted for manslaughter for the deaths, is out of prison now and recently finished probation.

Dori Slosberg’s family started a nonprofit, Dori Saves Lives, to promote awareness and aims to end distracted driving.