Spring Break renews family's memories of horrific airport accide - KCTV5 News

Spring Break renews family's memories of horrific airport accident

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Luke, 10, was killed when an airport arrival and departure sign fell on him and his family. Today his family says they still feel his presence. (KCTV5) Luke, 10, was killed when an airport arrival and departure sign fell on him and his family. Today his family says they still feel his presence. (KCTV5)
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

While many are getting ready to enjoy their long awaited Spring Break, one family would sooner forget the Spring Break vacation altogether.

A horrific event on March 22, 2013 proves life can change in a moment. A large airport display in Birmingham fell, hurting an Overland Park family and killing their 10-year-old son, Luke Bresette.   

Only days prior Ryan and Heather Bresette spent a glorious week on the beach in Destin, FL, with their five children. 

“That was the best family vacation we've ever had,” father Ryan Bresette said.

Things took a tragic turn when the family stood in the pre-boarding area inside Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. A free-standing, 300 to 400 pound departure and arrival sign toppled over.              

Heather Bresette and three of her sons were crushed below.

“I have constant pain every day,” she said.  

Heather Bresette had critical injuries. It would be almost four months before she could put any weight on her right leg. It also broke younger brother Sam's foot.

“He also had broken bones from top of his nose down to his lip,” Ryan Bresette said.

Tyler, the littlest brother, had a concussion.

Luke took the brunt of the weight and did not survive.            

Now the annual buzz about Spring Break brings it all back.

“It’s day-by-day. Even though three years is coming up, it's hard to get out of bed each day knowing that there’s one kid who's not going to be there,” Ryan Bresette said.

“It's hard, you know, one more year down that he's not with us,” Heather Bresette said.

But Luke is still around. He is remembered at his grave site with a lovely tribute to the little champion and by a plaque at the Birmingham Airport after the legal settlement was reached finding the contractors at fault for the top-heavy sign.

In his own way, Luke watches over their steps.

“We all talk to him and we all ask him for help in different ways,” Ryan Bresette said.

The grieving father said he even felt a strong, unexplained nudge on his shoulder twice during the Royals World Series run when he had fallen asleep while watching a game.

“Just little signals out there that he's with us,” Ryan Bresette said.

The family plans to start the Live Like Luke Foundation, a way to offer assistance to children to play in sports and simply, live like Luke did in his short ten years, by using every ounce of energy to squeeze joy and fun into each day.          

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