GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It is a night Vernon Grossman-Orr will never forget -- the night he lost his son. The night his son made a choice that cost him his life.
"I've done it, I've timed it. It takes about three seconds to fasten a seat belt and knowing that he had been raised all of his life to fasten his seat belt he had to have made a conscious choice, it had to have been a fleeting thought," Grossman-Orr said.
It happened on a Friday night in July five years ago when Vernon's son Bailey left dinner with his older brother. He was driving down Freeman Mill Road less than two miles from his home when he lost control of his SUV.
"I just remember screaming don't let this be true, somebody has to go take me instead of Bailey. I can't describe to you what was going through my mind it was horrific. My wife was inconsolable," he said.
Bailey had no alcohol in his system at the time of the crash. Police told his dad that if he had his seat belt on, he would have survived, but Bailey didn't and instead was ejected from his vehicle.
"The losing my son thing shook me to the core, still does," he said. "The pain is still active, still very much alive and we don't anticipate it being something that ever goes away."
Vernon knows he will never get his son back, the son that had a laugh that would fill up the room, the son that was full of adventure and the son that had a kind heart and was accepting of others.
Without his son, he says his life is darker, but he hopes his darkness can help other families.
"Maybe someone will listen to me, maybe someone will hear what a difference it can make and just take that three seconds and put on their safety belt."
Vernon hopes Bailey's story keeps someone else's child safe.