Harrison County Man Brings Life-Saving Message To Teens

"You don't want your parents to have to experience the agony, the grief, of coming to the hospital and identifying your body," Brian Pearse told a group of Gulfport High seniors Wednesday.

Talking about a child's death is hard for any parent. For Brian Pearse, sharing his painful loss with teenagers has become his personal mission.

"Dealing with the grief, it's hard," Pearse said. "So it's just days when it's hard to get up, but I still have to go on. And I just want to impress upon the children the importance of what you do will affect your parents or your brothers and your sisters."

Pearse' only children, 17-year old Kiara, and 15-year old Jameel, died last November, when their car flipped and crashed on Highway 49.

"It's still one of the hardest things to ever believe that my children were not wearing their seatbelts," Pearse said.

Pearse wants to warn Gulfport High seniors of the driving dangers, as they gear up for prom this weekend.

"Some of you will get in your cars and don't want to mess up your dress and you don't want to buckle up," Pearse said. "Buckle up! Get the wrinkle in the suit. Get the wrinkle in the dress, because it's going to save your life."

"Everything he said about being safe, and not having your parents experience that type of anguish, it touched my heart," said Gulfport High senior Mia McInnis.

"Just losing everything, what you have, is really hard," said Nicole McCord. "He was very brave to come here and talk to us about it."

"I think he's right about us being inexperienced drivers, because there are a lot of kids on the road who just don't know how to drive," said Joshua Johnson. "With today's traffic being bad and with upcoming prom, things will get out of hand."

"Even though this is tragic, it hurts, there's some good that can come out of this," Pearse said. "If we can save one life, then that's a blessing."

Pearse ended the speech with a simple message: "Enjoy the prom. Party hard. God bless you, but be safe."

Pearse is partnering with several sponsors to print 10,000 rearview mirror car hangers. The hangers will have pictures of Pearse' children and driving safety tips. Pearse wants to distribute the hangers to every high school in Harrison County.