Mother marks 15th anniversary of son's death in hot car

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WINCHESTER, Ky. (WKYT) - Sunday marked the 15-year anniversary of Bryan Puckett's death. Michelle Puckett says it doesn't take long for the memories to rush back. She was working at the Herald-Leader when she heard there was trouble in a shopping center parking lot.

"I actually walked over to the newsroom and said, 'There's a woman that's left her children in the car at the Mist Lake Plaza,'," Puckett said.

She went to run an errand in that same shopping center. That's when she discovered it was her own son, 11-month-old Bryan.

"Everybody started yelling at me, 'Ma'am you can't be back here,' and I kept saying, 'That's my son!'," Puckett said.

A sitter left him in the car in that shopping center. It's estimated the temperature in the car went as high as 165 degrees. Bryan died.

"I didn't have first words. I didn't have that five-year birthday, that ten-year birthday, now we're coming up on 16," Puckett said.

The sitter was convicted of manslaughter and Bryan's death sparked action in the Kentucky legislature. A bill known as "Bryan's Law" stiffened penalties for people who leave children in hot cars.

"It sailed right through and that was a huge surprise," Puckett said.

The Pucketts have 14-year-old twin boys now, Kevin and Shawn. They never got to meet their brother, Bryan, but they certainly know about him.

"When we go for a family portrait sitting, I always make sure we do something with Bryan because he is our family," Puckett said.

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