Special Report: What's in your blind zone? - | WBTV Charlotte

Special Report: What's in your blind zone?

Jackson, Brian and Amanda Bayers (Source: Family photo) Jackson, Brian and Amanda Bayers (Source: Family photo)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WBTV/WAVE) -

It isn't easy for Brian and Amanda Bayers to talk about how their 18-month-old son Jackson died. They say they’re doing so to help other parents not make the same mistake.

The Byers are a young couple in Spencer County, Kentucky, married for 8-and-a-half years, thrilled to be parents. It took them 3-and-a-half years to get pregnant.

"When I found out we were going to have a baby, I was instantly very nervous about everything," said Brian Bayers. "How I was going to provide? Would I be a good dad?"

When Jackson was finally born on August 1, Brian said he all he felt was felt a sense of protection.

"I felt like we had a whole different responsibility in our life," he said.

“It was instant love,” Amanda added. “It was love at first sight.”

As Jackson grew, so did his curiosity. He managed to get his hands on everything.

"I worried every night, I got home,” Brian said. “I carry around change in my pocket and every night I’d get down on my hands and knees. I'd look for dimes and pennies I might have dropped.”

Cautious parents, no doubt. But, what they didn't think about is what changed their lives.

On February 13, 2015, Brian Bayers was getting ready to take Jackson to daycare. It was cold, so Brian figured while Jackson was playing he would warm up the truck and back it up to the house.

"When I got out of the truck, I ran to the back door and hopped up on the stoop - and the back door was wide open," he said.

He ran into the house calling Jackson's name, but couldn't find him.

"I went flying out the back door basically to see him on the driveway, and um... he had already been hit at that point in time. I had backed over him,” said Brian. “I never saw him at any point in time. Jackson was hit by the front wheels of the vehicle backing up. When the front wheels back around, he essentially walked right into the side of the vehicle.”

Little Jackson was killed instantly.

Brian called 911. Knowing there was nothing he could do, he also called Amanda who rushed home from work.

"I wanted to hold him for hours," said Amanda. "I just kissed him and rocked him. We took him back to his room. I just kept saying ‘Why?’”

The couple says the pain and heartache since that day is indescribable. They miss everything about their sweet boy.

"I miss holding him. I miss hugging him. I miss feeling that love," said Amanda.

"I miss seeing him dance with his mom," said Brian. "I miss lying in bed in the morning and hearing him wake up."

Every minute of every day Brian said he can't help but think of what happened. How did Jackson open the door? What could he have done differently?

"What if I had a backup camera on my vehicle? What if I had my window rolled down? I think, ‘Why didn't I just pick my child up and carry him with me to my car?’" said Brian. "I always worried about the little things that could happen, this was one thing that never crossed my mind."

In the United States, at least 50 children are backed over by vehicles every week, according to KidsAndCars.org. Yes- fifty every week.

Click here for their full list of children killed by cars backing out of a driveway.

Of those fifty, KidsAndCars.org say 48 are sent to the ER. At least two a week die. The non-profit says the predominant age of kids run over is one years old.

KidsAndCars.org is dedicated to preventing injuries and death to children in and around motor vehicles. Its website is slick and full of facts.  

WBTV talked with them recently.

“It’s a remarkable number of kids impacted by this,” said Janette Fennell, President and Founder. “It’s called a blind zone, not a blind spot.  It’s an entire zone.”

Read more on the importance of that difference at kidsandcars.org. To find more easy, surprising facts about backovers click here.

Consumer Reports on the site also talk about the dangers of blind zones.

Here locally, a group called Safe Kids Charlotte Mecklenburg works to educate groups at community events about blind zones. They also talk about back overs, heat-in-cars, using seatbelts or boosters and walking safely around cars and so forth. It’s a coalition of safety agencies who conduct programs to prevent childhood injuries.

To reach that group – to have them come talk to you or your group – email info@safekidscharmeck.org.

We’ve attached two pictures here of just one demonstration they provide with a carpet rolled out behind a car. This is called “Spot the Tot”.  Shows you how much space behind your car you can't see. There is no cost for their services.

The Bayers never knew how common back-over and front-over accidents were until Jackson died. They’re taking this brave step to talk about it.

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