Utah Family Raising Awareness For Halloween Pedestrian Safety

Oct 30, 2019, 11:08 PM | Updated: 11:12 pm

LAYTON, Utah — With the motto, “Help Jayden light the way,” a Layton mother is raising awareness about pedestrian safety on Halloween night.

In 2011, Crystal Conover’s son was hit by a car on while trick-or-treating down a dark road in Uintah, Utah.

Conover has since decorated her home in his memory and hands out glowsticks to trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

From ghosts to spiders and ghouls, Crystal Conover’s yard is decked out with spooky creatures.

They were her son’s favorites.

“His favorite holiday was Halloween,” Conover said. “He absolutely loved it. He loved the decorations.”

Eight years ago, 13-year-old Jayden Rathbone was out trick-or-treating in Uintah when a car struck him.

“He was walking down a dark road. The driver just didn’t see him with the oncoming lights coming at her,” Conover said. “Due to that car accident, he passed away on Thanksgiving day.”

Like any parent, Conover struggled to make sense of the tragedy and wasn’t able to look at the Halloween decorations for months after Jayden’s passing.

“I absolutely wanted nothing to do with Halloween and wanted nothing to do with the memory of it,” Conover said. “One of my very best friends said to me, what was Jayden’s holiday and what would he want you to do? So we decorated.”

Since then, Conover has carried on the tradition of decorating adding something new every year.

“It’s our family tradition. We have a lot of laughs, we have a lot of tears and it’s something that doesn’t get set up in a day,” Conover said.

The decorations have a new purpose and meaning.

“I created the ‘Help Jayden light the way’ motto and started passing out glowsticks,” Conover said. “That’s when it hit us — let’s make a negative into a positive.”

Every trick-or-treater that stops by the home gets a treat and a glowstick.

“It keeps him alive in a way. It helps him carry on through lighting the way for others,” Conover said.

Conover and her family hope to raise awareness about the dangers of trick-or-treating in the dark.

“We’ve had parents ask us about them and we educate them as to why we do what we do and we encourage them to get glowsticks or flashlights or reflectors to put on children or pass out,” Conover said.

They hope their tragedy will protect another child.

“There’s not a day we don’t miss him, but this is our way of coping and spreading and keeping his spirit alive,” Conover said.

Trick-or-treaters are welcome to stop by the home at 1019 East 260 South in Layton Thursday.

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