Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Mary Kelly-Hallam is assisted by her son, Connor, after speaking about injuries sustained three years ago in an auto-pedestrian accident.

LAYTON — It's been three years since Mary Kelly-Hallam and her two children were hit by a car in a crosswalk near E.G. King Elementary.

Lucky to have survived the crash, Kelly-Hallam and her family have become an unfortunate example of what happens when cars and people collide.

September marks the beginning of Green Ribbon Month in Davis County, now in its 10th year.

This year, the awareness campaign is accompanied by posters, bookmarks and a 30-second public service announcement urging not only drivers to be aware, but also urging children to stop, look and live.

The posters feature a photo taken from a driver's perspective of children nearly at the point of impact.

Sally Kershisnik, director of Davis County's Health and Senior Services Division, told a group of students at E.G. King that drivers may not see them, so they have to pay attention to traffic.

And she sent a warning to motorists: "When you are in a residential area, you have to think there are children out playing," she said.

It's no mystery why Green Ribbon Month coincides with the start of the school year: It's because of stories like Kelly-Hallam's.

She and two of her children were crossing Gordon Avenue after a back-to-school event when one car stopped to let them cross. But as they passed in front of it, another car maneuvered around the stopped car and smashed into Kelly-Hallam, son Connor and daughter Gracie, sending the three of them out of their shoes and flying through the air.

Mary Kelly-Hallam's shin bone was pulverized and has never fully healed. The constant pain of her scarred left leg is a daily agonizing reminder that eventually, part of her leg will be amputated. All three suffered serious brain injuries and have experienced significant memory loss.

Connor's jaw was broken and front teeth were knocked out. He had a lump the size of half of a softball on his head and now has regular migraines that cause him to vomit. Gracie was blind for a while, Connor said.

Hospital and specialist bills for the family have reached close to $1 million. She said she has maxed out her credit cards, drained her savings and has five mortgages on her home.

A trust fund has been set up at America First Credit Union under the name Kelly-Hallam to help her come up with the $6,000 needed for a prosthetic leg, which she needs before her leg can be amputated.

Parents need to remind their young drivers, every week if possible, about the need for safety around schools, she said.

"Drivers need to know where all of the crosswalks are."

Drivers get to choose how they drive and how distracted they let themselves get, she said, but once a pedestrian is hit, that person's choices are taken away forever.


E-mail: jdougherty@desnews.com