Barren man pleads guilty to crashing into Lincoln statue

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By Linda Ireland

A Barren County man pleaded guilty in LaRue Circuit Court earlier this month to one count of criminal mischief and driving while under the influence of alcohol. He’s expected to receive a diverted sentence.
Police say Jeremy Scott Veatch, 24, was driving a 2001 Ford Taurus on U.S. 31-E just after 4 a.m. on April 10. The car entered the traffic island on Lincoln Square and struck the “Lincoln as a Boy” statue.
The statue was dragged under the car across the island and landed behind the 1909 Adolph A. Weinman statue of the adult Lincoln. The car hit a flagpole before coming to rest.
Veatch’s blood alcohol level was .180, according to the arrest report. The legal limit is .08.
The Boy Lincoln statue, a depiction of Abraham Lincoln at age 7 standing with his dog Honey, was dedicated in 2008 as part of the Lincoln Bicentennial at a cost of about $126,000. The sculpture was scraped and dented and eventually shipped to California to be re-cast at a cost of $26,500.
It was returned to Hodgenville and re-set on Sept. 29.
City officials said Veatch’s insurance covered the repair.
Veatch’s final sentencing is Nov. 7. Recommended sentence is five years and 30 days respectively, to be pre-trial diverted.