headstone killing accident

Man Killed Decorating Mother-In-Law’s Headstone

A freak accident at a Pennsylvania graveyard killed a 74-year-old man this week when he was crushed by a 400-pound granite headstone he was attempting to attach a religious ornament to.

Caretaker Ed Kubilus of St. Joseph’s cemetery outside Scranton told WNEP-TV that Stephen Woytack and his wife Lucy paid a visit to the graveyard to tend to the gravesite of Lucy’s mother ahead of Easter Sunday.

As Woytack was working to place a religious ornament at the site, the headstone toppled over, trapping him underneath the grave marker and killing him.

Kubilus described to the Scranton Times-Tribune that Lucy found him on the other side of the cemetery and he rushed to the scene and attempted to lift the headstone off Woytack, but it was too heavy to move.

Police were also called and arrived a few minutes later, but it was already too late. "It's just a freak thing that happened. It's heartbreaking," said Kubilus about the tragic death of Woytack, who had been married to Lucy for 46 years.

Kubilus told the newspaper that headstones can loosen and become unstable at this time of year when weather gets warmer and the ground begins thawing.