Big Spring – West Texas – 1980 – Big Spring is a small town with nothing terribly remarkable about it. Unlike Dallas, West Texas is mostly flat land, rural and without skyscrapers or expensive boutiques. Vicky Lyons was a resident of Big Spring. She was a sweet-faced 4-year-old little girl with a wonderful life ahead of her. That is, until the day she was found broken and bloodied in a parking lot and near death. Without any witnesses, no one was certain what had happened to the little girl.
Crystal Lyons was Vicky’s mother. Crystal relied upon a babysitter to care for her only child while she went to work for the local newspaper press, the Big Spring Herald. One morning, Vicky’s babysitter didn’t show up. In spite of Crystal’s predicament over child care, her boss gave Crystal an ultimatum: either come to work or be fired. Crystal brought Vicky to work. As best as she could, Crystal worked and kept watch over Vicky. After a time, delivery trucks arrived to take piles of newspapers into town. Crystal’s supervisor, in his infinite wisdom, told Vicky to go and play in the parking lot. Unimpressed, Crystal stopped working and went to speak to Chad. Just as she was about to tell him she was taking her child home and he could fire her if he wanted, she noticed her child outside lying prone on the ground. Even from a distance it was obvious the child had been hit by a vehicle.
When Crystal reached her daughter, Vicky was unconscious and not breathing. An ambulance brought the little girl to Odessa Hospital – an hour away. Along the way, the ambulance broke down. Seriously. Vicky finally made it to Intensive Care. Vicky was in a coma and doctors told Crystal the child might die. Tire marks were found on Vicky’s face. Crystal found a camera and took pictures of her child’s face.
Minister J.B. Hardman attended the BSH every day to pick up his newspaper in person before he went to work. He left the parking lot in what seemed to be a hurry after Vicky was discovered unconscious. Police issued an all points bulletin for Hardman. Hardman explained he’d left the lot in a hurry because he was late getting to work. Hardman was arrested in the next county. While he was jailed, Hardman overheard a conversation between a police officer who was talking to someone on the phone: “I went over that truck with a fine tooth comb and I can’t find nothing but one little spot of blood.”
After three weeks in a coma, Vicky regained consciousness. She couldn’t walk or speak but as time went by, the child began to recover. Eventually Crystal brought Vicky to the BSH so her colleagues could see the little girl. One young male employee leaned inside the car to get a look at the child. Vicky screamed and kicked.
Crystal believed the tire marks on her child’s face would reveal who had run her over. She took impressions of the tires of the delivery vehicles at the BSH, and kept meticulous records, which she brought to the police. She insisted police release Hardman which they did: the blood on his tire was revealed to be fish blood. Police informed Crystal that Vicky’s “accident” was not a criminal matter, but a civil issue.
Three years later Crystal found an article in, ironically, the BSH, about a man named Paul McDonald, an expert on tire mark forensics. McDonald was the chief designer for the Firestone Tire Company and had published a book using his expertise in tire mark forensics. McDonald was no stranger to tire marks in human flesh. McDonald was amazed at Crystal’s insight in taking tire impressions of all the vehicles at the BHP. The last 3 imprints were of interest. The imprints on Vicky’s face in photographs looked similar. The marks on Vicky’s face matched the tires of a vehicle that had been driven by a man with the pseudonym Bob Jones. Jones had been the man who spoke to Vicky three years earlier when she reacted violently.
Crystal filed suit against BSH for not taking proper action after her child had been struck down by one of their drivers. Little Vicky needed dozens of surgeries to restore her sight, hearing and sense of balance. However she was permanently disfigured and would speak with a speech impediment for the rest of her life. For her part, Vicky always remembered the accident. She remembered her mother’s supervisor telling her to play in the parking lot and how she went behind a truck and played in the sand. Jones then backed over the child, then sped away. He claimed not to have realized he’d hit the child but Vicky claims she saw him looking at her in the rear view mirror. Jones made the peculiar comment to Crystal that he didn’t think he hit Vicky but if he did he “was sorry.” Well that makes it all better.
BSH offered to pay $750,000.00 for Vicky’s care. Crystal accepted. Had Crystal Lyons not taken photographs of her child’s face on the day of the accident, and had she not take tire imprints of the delivery vehicles at BHP, the case would never have been resolved. Personally I think Chad the supervisor and Jones should have been fired. Jones should have been sent to prison.
Vicky Lyons, a brave beautiful girl, was determined to make the most of her life. Eventually she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina and became a professional wrestler. She worked for the Highspots Wrestling School of Charlotte, NC and was a student the Arts Institute of Charlotte, where she was studying Mass Media. Sadly, Vicky died in 2011, at the young age of 34. Both her mother and her father outlived their daughter. The Lyons family had the unfortunate legacy of early deaths. In 2014, William Lyons died of cancer at the age of 61.
As a teenager Vicky stated she didn’t like going out of the house because she didn’t “like the way people make [me] feel.” Too bad she had been sent out into the parking lot to play at the BSH.