Adopt-a-Highway Honors Eveleth Teen Killed in Crash

Updated: 06/17/2014 11:48 PM
Created: 06/17/2014 2:11 PM

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:

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