She was killed by a drunken driver one year ago this week and she was only 16.

Kindle Smith was killed on Feb 23, 2008 as she attempted to carry a friend home. Family and friends are circulating a petition to get TxDOT to erect a permanent sign at the crash site on FM 1387 east of Midlothian.

The sign simply states “Please Don’t Drink and Drive in Memory of Kindle Smith”.

“These memorial signs are considered temporary by TXDOT and are removed after one year,” said Tonya Dunn, Kindle’s aunt. “We believe these signs raise public awareness and remind motorist that driving under the influence can lead to fatal consequences.”

Petition simply states “The friends and family of Kindle Smith request the law be changed allowing the Memorial Sign Program to become permanent and not be removed after one year.”

Family and friends need 10,000 signatures to present to the state.

Go to www.gopetition.com to find out details about the effort and to sign the petition.

Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown said he’s fully supportive of a permanent market being placed at the site.

“I’ve signed the petition. It’s a nice sign out there and I don’t see where it would hurt for it to stay,” Brown said Monday. “I would encourage everyone in the county to sign for the fact it’s for a good cause.”

Brown recalled how, after the teenager was killed, several of her friends that knew him approached him about holding a candlelight vigil. He said he helped them work with Suzette Pylant of the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving to hold the ceremony.

Brown described fatality incidents involving young people as “one of the hardest things in the world you have to deal with as an officer.”

“It affects a lot more lives than just the family’s. It affects people who don’t even know them,” he said.