Speaking in halting tones, and at times shedding tears, a handful of families helped launch a state website Monday as a memorial to those killed in Minnesota traffic accidents.
The site, www.MinnesotaCrashVictims.org, is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, state public safety officials said.
“The stories on this website do more than present the traffic statistics,” said Cheri Marti, the state’s traffic safety director. “These are the faces behind the statistics.
“The personal stories resonate with visitors far greater than stats and numbers,” said Marti.
Amy Stein held a picture of her son, Evan, 18, who was killed last September while a passenger in a car  driven by his girlfriend in Isanti County. “This tragedy has left a hole in my family that is irreplaceable,” she said. After seeing her son graduate from high school at the beginning of the summer, she said, “I planned his funeral the week after Labor Day weekend.
“The last memory I have of him is him giving me a wink and a sideways peace sign,” she added.
Denise Schnabel of Monticello said her father, Robert Forrer, was killed in August 2009 while they were rollerblading near Pequot Lakes. “The car obviously did not see us,” she said. “He was struck and killed instantly.
“This is a place,” Schnabel said of the new website, “where people are not going to forget.”

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