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Crash victim's family defends roadside memorial

A recent news story focused on a crash survivor who spoke out against roadside memorials. One victim's family is sticking up for the symbols of love.

Four years after Shauna Hill was killed in a car crash, the 16-year-old's family is defending the placement of a roadside memorial that honors her.

The family says a recent news story insults anyone who has taken the time to put up a memorial.

On Dec. 10, 2012, Hill was crossing Idaho 16 on Floating Feather Road when her car was struck by a northbound vehicle on the highway. The Eagle High School student died from her injuries. In the weeks that followed, a roadside memorial went up at the scene of the crash.

"It's honorable to recognize your loved ones," said Shauna's sister, Haley Hill. "You have a right to have a memorial."

Frustration surfaced for the Meridian family when the other driver involved in the crash recently voiced concerns to another local TV station about roadside memorials, saying that the one that honors Shauna brings up difficult memories of the accident.

The family felt is was important to hold a remembrance ceremony on Sunday at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in light of the recent news coverage.

"It's like opening up old wounds and this gathering is in response to say it needs to be done and you need to let it go and move on," said Haley.

Dozens of people gathered at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery on Sunday to remember Shauna Hill, an Eagle High School student who died in a crash four years ago.

The gathering was not out of spite or anger, Haley said, but rather to give them a chance to honor Shauna and anyone else taken too soon.

"It's just a moment for us to have the freedom to grieve," she said.

Haley feels strongly that roadside memorials not only help with the grieving process, but can help stop more deadly accidents from ever happening.

"It's a reminder of safety," she said. "Every time you drive past it you know to slow down."

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