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Wendy Reuer, Published August 09 2013

Memorial bench erected across from Fargo South to remind students about driver safety

FARGO – Happy birthday wishes and helium balloons filled the air near Fargo South High School on Friday night.

A group of about 50 of Tyler Tweten’s family and friends gathered near 17th Avenue South to see a new bench erected in his honor.

Tweten was killed Oct. 16, 2010, when the car he was riding in slid into a tree. Tweten was the only one in the carload of four who was wearing a seat belt. Friday would have been his 20th birthday.

Since his death, his mother, Michelle Tweten, and others close to him have organized an annual safety cruise.

The “T.S.T. (Tyler Scott Tweten) Memorial Safety Cruz” takes vehicles in a procession through south Fargo in an effort to remind others about the importance of driver safety.

Michelle Tweten said the bench, which sits directly across from South High School’s student parking lot exit on the south side of 17th Avenue South, will be a permanent reminder for students to drive safely.

“(The students) will all see it when they’re leaving the school,” Tweten said.

Tyler’s father, Tony Tweten, said Friday he thinks the bench is a “very cool” tribute to his son.

Police said at the time of Tyler’s death, the car he was riding in was northbound on Seventh Street and tried to turn left on 11th Avenue North when it crashed.

The female driver faced charges in juvenile court. The case was settled in juvenile court where records are not open to the public.

Both parents say coping with the loss of Tyler has been difficult.

“It’s day by day,” Tony Tweten said. “It doesn’t ever really go away.”

Michelle Tweten said she doesn't plan a safety cruise in October.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530