Updated: 06/17/2014 11:48 PM
Created: 06/17/2014 2:11 PM WDIO.com
Just a few miles south of where Kirsty Kilpela's young life ended, her memory is living on in the form of Adopt-a-Highway. Her family just secured a section south of the Highway 37 exit, and the signs say "The Family of Kirsty Kilpela."
"I'm so happy to see her name up there. I know she'd be happy with her mother cleaning up the highway in her honor. She liked to make the world a better place," Andrea Kilpela told us.
Kirsty died in a car crash in October of 2010. She was just 16 years old. Her sister, Candice, was seriously injured in the same crash, and tells us about her pain of remembering that time.
"It comes in waves, some days I think I'm doing well. Then, the next day, nope, I'm not doing so good," Candice said.
A man driving the wrong way on Highway 53 hit them head-on.
The family is always looking at ways to help keep her memory alive.
Candice recently did the "Walk for Animals" fundraiser held by Animal Allies in Duluth. "She loved her animals, and would have walked her cat if she could," Candice told us.
The Adopt-a-Highway signs are their bright spot for June, Andrea said. And hopefully, "A reminder for people to drive carefully. Because this does happen to people in the community," she added.
The family plans on doing their first clean-up within the next few months. "We have people who want to help, who loved Kirsty too, and want to help us heal," Andrea added.
For information about how you can secure your own Adopt-a-Highway section, click on this link:
Environmentalists Say St. Louis River Toxins Need Attention
Environmentalists and the Fond du Lac band of Lake Superior Chippewa say the state isn't doing enough to protect the public from toxins in the St. Louis River. A public meeting will be held about the issue tonight in Duluth.
August Job Gains Drive Down Minn. Unemployment Rate
Minnesota has gained 4,200 jobs in August, driving down the state's unemployment rate to 4.3 percent.
Wis. Unemployment Rate Drops; Job Growth Lags Nation
New statistics show Wisconsin's private sector job growth is lagging the national average. Meanwhile, the state's unemployment rate fell in August.
Family of Duluth Stabbing Victim: 'She was Always Happy'
The family of a Duluth stabbing victim spoke out on Wednesday after the 71-year-old woman's tragic death allegedly by the hands of her own son. Mary's ex-son-in-law, Ted Beaudoin, said he's still in shock.
Duluth Police Identify 2 Suspects in Last Month's Central Hillside Shooting
The Duluth Police Department has identified two suspects they believe were involved with an August 19 shooting on the Central Hillside.