BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Though the pain of losing his children never leaves, Brian Pearse finds himself growing a little stronger with each year that passes.
"I cannot bring my children back, but if I could trade and bring them back and make a deal with God yeah I would do that but that's not practical. For me it's a tragedy, but...the only good that can come out of it is by telling my testimony and helping somebody else."
Pearse says lawmakers should also take a look at raising the seatbelt fine, which sits at $25.00 in Gulfport. Pearse also thanks the Gulf Coast Realtors Association for donating $7,000 for a scholarship fund in his daughter and son's memory.
"What gets me through is my ability to still be able to tell my story to help somebody else," Pearse says.
His daughter Kiara was 17, his son Brian just 15 when they were killed in car accident near their high school. They weren't wearing seatbelts. So Pearse has made it his mission to become a passionate advocate for seatbelt safety. He visits local schools to share his story.
He and his wife started a buckle-up campaign using rear view mirror hangers. The laminated hangers have a picture of his son and daughter, a visual reminder of what not buckling up can cost you. It's a message he says parents need to drive home to their kids.
"Sometimes you might just have to break it down to the reality. For me to visit my children, I have to go out to the cemetery and look at those two grave sites. I have to look at pictures for memories, and there are many days when I sit in my house and I cry. So, if I have to bring them to that reality to wake them up...then sure," Pearse says.
Pearse is stepping up his seatbelt safety campaign. He's working to make remote devices which tract speed and driving patterns more accessible to parents. He's also in the process of writing a grant to get a driving simulator in area high schools.
"It'd be good to go along with some of the driver education classes cause a lot of kids just don't get the experience. You want to give your child more responsibility, but this is a lot of responsibility because they can leave and not come home," says Pearse.
It's a scenario Pearse painfully knows all too well, but one he's working tirelessly to keep other families from having to live through.