The DUI Victims Memorial Wall, formerly located at Everett’s McCollum Park, will be placed at the northeast corner of the county government campus at 3000 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett next month. (Genna Martin / Herald file)

The DUI Victims Memorial Wall, formerly located at Everett’s McCollum Park, will be placed at the northeast corner of the county government campus at 3000 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett next month. (Genna Martin / Herald file)

DUI Victims Memorial Wall moving to county government campus

The McCollum Park wall had deteriorated over the years with vandalism and nearby garbage.

EVERETT — Jan Schemenauer had been married for five months.

Her husband was riding as a passenger when a car driven by a drunk driver T-boned him in May 1979. The man was driving 70 to 75 miles per hour in a 35 zone.

Schmenauer’s husband was killed on impact, she said. The other driver sped away.

“It’s a wound that never really closes,” she said.

Since 2001, loved ones of Snohomish County victims of drunk driving have been able to go to Everett’s McCollum Park where a brick wall memorial was erected. It started with 45 names. With dedications every few years since then, it had grown to more than 140 names, said Schemenauer, who retired last year from her position as the county’s DUI victim panel coordinator. She now volunteers on the effort.

But the wall, once nestled in a serene grove where loved ones of victims could grieve, had become rundown. Vandalism, garbage and inaccessible trails to the memorial made the current location untenable. And new names had to be added to the backside of the wall, a less than ideal spot.

So last winter, the county removed it.

Next month, the refurbished wall will be placed at the northeast corner of the county government campus at 3000 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett. It will be dedicated in an Aug. 20 ceremony, said Snohomish County DUI & Target Zero Task Force manager Stacey McShane. This is the same day a major statewide DUI patrol begins.

Families of victims of DUI crashes testified in front of the Snohomish County Council in 2019 to call for the wall to be moved to the county government campus.

“It’s really important for the public to see the impacts of DUI and what happens and see these names on this wall,” McShane said. “People that walk by, that visit it or happen on it, are going to see tiles on there of children, of mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers, and hopefully maybe connect with that and use that information to make better choices themselves.”

McShane is also no stranger to the impact impaired driving can have. In 2010, her husband’s cousin, Nicholas Hodgins, was killed by a drunk driver just a few days shy of his high school graduation on Interstate 5. He hoped to study sound production at the Seattle Art Institute, an obituary said.

“It impacts everything,” McShane said. “The ripple effect through our family has been huge. Nothing’s the same.”

The wall’s organizers will eventually be accepting new applicants to add names to the wall. To be included in the memorial, victims must meet a certain criteria. They have to have been a Snohomish County resident. They couldn’t have been the impaired driver, but could have been a passenger in that car. The drunk driver has to have been convicted of a DUI charge.

The wall will include a new plaque honoring Lynnwood police officer Mark Brinkman, a prolific arrester of drunken drivers. Brinkman, 55, died in his home in April.

The county sheriff’s office made 260 DUI arrests in 2020, according to a report released by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs this month. Everett police made 182 DUI arrests.

As relocation of the wall nears, McShane is working to let members of the victims’ families know of the new location. It has been a challenge, she said, as they do not have current addresses and contact information for relatives of those whose names are on the memorial. She hopes word will spread fast enough so they can come visit, and maybe attend the dedication.

Schemenauer wants the wall’s prominent new location to bring renewed attention to the lives of those it honors.

“I hope that it will serve as a daily reminder for those who go to the county to do whatever business they’re doing there that these were residents whose lives were taken from them by a careless, irresponsible choice,” she said. “I hope that they would pause and honor those people.”

This story has been revised to clarify the criteria for being included on the DUI memorial.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

Talk to us

More in Local News

People wait in line for amusement park tickets during opening day of the Evergreen State Fair on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021 in Monroe, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At limited capacity, Evergreen State Fair draws 181,000

Organizers say this year’s visitors enjoyed experiencing the fair with “a little more shoulder room.”

In 2023, the Department of Transportation will widen a two-mile stretch of Highway 531 from 43rd Avenue NE to 67th Avenue NE. (WSDOT)
Smokey Point road improvements won’t be done before industrial center

Amazon, NorthPoint are coming but the state will not begin widening Highway 531 until 2023.

Construction continues at the site of the former Kmart for 400 apartments. and is slated for completion in 2023. Photo on September 14, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Coming soon to Everett, 430 apartments at former Kmart site

DevCo, Inc. is building six-story apartments “for the workforce” on Evergreen Way, near Boeing Freeway.

Federal vax rules apply to half of Snohomish County workers

The Labor Department hasn’t issued guidance yet, but here’s what we know so far.

Police: Mill Creek man, 63, accidentally shot by son

Detectives believe the dad was mistaken as an intruder. The injuries are not life threatening.

Man found dead in homeless camp Friday in Mountlake Terrace

His identity and cause of death are pending.

Family identifies Marysville woman found dead at Stevens Pass

Officials are investigating the death, which they called a homicide.

Marilla Sargent presents Amit Singh, Edmonds College president, a check supporting the Project Home Association at Edmonds College. (Edmonds College)
HomeStreet Bank gives $5,000 for Edmonds College students facing homelessness

HomeStreet Bank donated $5,000 to Edmonds College’s Project Home Association, which provides… Continue reading

South Whidbey public records advocate blasts cities’ responses

Eric Hood has collected about $1 million in Public Records Act lawsuits.

Most Read