LOCAL NEWS

Chance Encounter Gives Layton Mom Hope After Losing Her Son In Halloween Crash

Oct 16, 2020, 7:44 PM | Updated: Oct 19, 2020, 5:46 am

LAYTON, Utah — Every year, a Layton mother decorates her home and hands out glow sticks in memory of her son, who was struck by a car while trick-or-treating on Halloween. She almost decided to skip the tradition this year, but she said a chance encounter brought new hope to her life. 

Crystal Conover gets ready for her son’s favorite holiday every year.

“It’s a very emotional process, lots of time outs and lots of tears,” said Conover. “Jayden loved Halloween.”

Sadly, 13-year-old Jayden Rathbone is no longer here.

“This (year) marks nine years … that we have been without Jayden,” said Conover.

Jayden was hit by a distracted driver while trick-or-treating down a dark street in Uintah in 2011.

“I never want another family to have to experience what I had,” she said.

Looking for a way to honor Jayden’s legacy, she began decorating the year after his death and became concerned when she noticed many children wearing dark costumes. That inspired her to hand out more than just candy the following year.

“We decided glow sticks were the answer. If you see something blue, green, yellow or pink bobbing down the road, it is going to catch your eye,” said Conover, explaining that in addition to candy, she gives each trick-or-treater a glow stick to “Help Jayden Light the Way.”

But with everything that’s going on, Conover almost skipped out on the tradition.

“This year, because of the storm that we had, we weren’t going to do it because our house is going to be under repair,” she said. “Because of the damage to our home, we didn’t feel we could go further.”

That’s when Conover’s friends and neighbors jumped into action.

“My neighbors showed up on my front porch and said, ‘Absolutely not. You have to do Help Jayden Light the Way,'” she said.

Everyone showed up with decorations, even adding a large banner explaining the purpose of the glow sticks in honor of Jayden lighting the way at the entrance of their cul-de-sac.

In a twist of fate, it caught Lewis Weaver’s attention.

Weaver lives in Plain City and happened to be in the neighborhood to look at a home for his job as a realtor. His kids noticed the decoration near the sign and asked their dad to drive over.

“I started reading it. I was like, I almost think … I think his name was Jayden and I was on that call, but I was in Uintah, not Layton,” he said.

Lewis Weaver saw the sign highlight “Help Jayden Light the Way” in Layton. (KSL-TV)

Turns out, Lewis was one of the firefighters that answered the call the night Jayden was struck.

Weaver never had a chance to meet Conover, who since moved to Layton, but Jayden’s memory stuck with him, even after he retired as a firefighter.

“The images you see kind of stick with you forever,” said Weaver. “The thoughts went through my head of, ‘It’s his last Halloween. He is somebody’s family out there. They don’t even have the news yet.'”

“His was probably the last face my son saw, and I couldn’t have asked for a better person for my son,” said Conover. “I think [Weaver’s] actions bought me time to say goodbye.”

Jayden was taken off life support on Thanksgiving, a few weeks after the crash.

After all these years, the chance encounter has inspired Lewis to share Jayden’s message with his neighborhood.

“I’ve only been in this neighborhood maybe once in my life, so what are the odds?” Weaver said. “I realized this was probably meant to be. I was probably supposed to drive by here and see that sign and talk to her.”

Lewis Weaver and Crystal Conover. (KSL-TV)

Weaver said he’s planning on handing out glow sticks, along with candy, to trick-or-treaters in memory of Jayden.

“It’s been good for me, too, because it comes full circle, and I can think about it and not have that void there,” he said.

“I truly believe that Jayden had his hand in it and said, ‘Mom, you have to keep going. You can’t stop,” said Conover.

Crystal’s cul-de-sac, located at 1019 East and 260 South in Layton, is planning a COVID-safe truck or treat event for trick-or-treaters this Halloween.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

...
Ashley Moser

Local organization helps single parents put gifts under the Christmas tree

With prices on the rise on almost everything, providing Christmas gifts is proving difficult for many families, especially for single parent households. One Utah organization is jumping in to help.
1 day ago
(Roy City Police Department)...
Madison Swenson

Man in custody after crashing into Roy building, trying to get into another car

A man was taken into custody Friday after crashing into the back of a car, then into a building in Roy, before attempting to get into another car.
1 day ago
(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)...
Madison Swenson

First Presidency of the Church releases 2022 Christmas message

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released a Christmas message.
1 day ago
...
Shara Park

West Valley business sees lots of in-person activity on Black Friday

A record 166.3 million people are expected to shop between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While a lot of that business is done online, there is still a strong appetite for visiting locally owned stores.
1 day ago
(Snowbird)...
Karah Brackin

New tram cabins open at Snowbird

Since 1971, the Snowbird Tram has carried people up and down Little Cottonwood Canyon. For the first time in a long time, the tram cabins got quite the facelift and made history.
1 day ago
Medical forms with privacy assurances can lead people to lie more about their health history, a rec...
Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

BYU, U. researchers say medical health privacy forms can lead to more lies, misdiagnoses

A recent study done by researchers at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah shows when patients are given a HIPAA form before filling out the health survey, they tend to lie more on the survey — causing a higher likelihood of misdiagnoses.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Chance Encounter Gives Layton Mom Hope After Losing Her Son In Halloween Crash