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Layton family uses Halloween decorations as a reminder, and to honor son who died while trick-or-treating

Posted at 9:37 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 23:51:38-04

LAYTON, Utah -- Halloween decorations at a home in Layton are much more than decorations. They serve as a reminder, and a warning, after a family lost their child who was hit by a car while trick-or-treating.

“I don't wish this on my worst enemy it's a pain that never goes away and you live with it every day,” said Crystal Conover.

This year marks the family’s seventh year without Jayden Rathbone.

Halloween night of 2011, Jayden was trick-or-treating in Uintah, and while crossing a street and he was hit by a car. The 13-year-old fought for his life but passed away weeks later.

“I miss all of him. His hugs, his joking, his humor his voice... I miss it all,” Conover said. “I never wanted to deal with Halloween ever again."

Instead, the Conovers decorate every year, hoping to spread a message of safety to other trick-or-treaters.

“This is him, this is how we keep him alive, and this is how we try to keep others safe,” Conover said while pointing to her yard.

Pedestrians have a 43 percent higher risk of being hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other night, the University of British Columbia said in 2018, and children ages 4 to 8 are ten times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween

The most dangerous hours are said to be from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

Along with candy the Conover’s will be passing out glow sticks this Halloween. That's just one of the suggested safety tips to make trick-or-treaters more visible to oncoming cars.

Parents can have kids wear reflective patches, make sure they're only crossing the street in well-lit marked areas and making eye contact with drivers before crossing to stay safe.  And drivers can slow down and pay close attention during Halloween.