MECKLENBURG COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A 27-year-old father died in a vehicle crash while on the way to work in Mecklenburg County Wednesday, Feb. 16. Now, his family and friends are pushing for legislation on one common auto trend that they say could’ve been part of the reason the crash happened.

The trend is called the “Carolina squat” and it’s when vehicles are significantly lifted in the front so the front axle is lifted much higher than the rear axle.

Jody “BJ” Upton Jr. was killed in the crash and his family is devastated, saying the after-market auto trend may have kept the person who slammed their truck into Upton’s from seeing over the hill he was driving on when the crash occurred.

“It was absolutely horrific,” Ann Taylor Kallam explained. Kallam was Upton Jr.’s future sister-in-law, fiancé to Upton Jr.’s brother, Johnathan Upton.

Photos Kallam gave to 8News show Upton’s 2005 Chevy pickup crumpled and destroyed on Skipwith Road where the crash happened early Wednesday morning.

“The truck was, it was almost like nothing left,” Kallam said.

She described her future brother-in-law as someone who was never mad or upset and loved his 7-year-old boy, Brayden Upton, more than anything.

Kallam said she remembers when her fiancé, Johnathan Upton, got the call to tell him his brother was gone.

“He was so upset and I wasn’t expecting that. So I immediately, my feet hit the floor,” she said.

An example of a Carolina Squat (left), Upton’s truck after the crash (right)

Kallam drove to the scene on Skipwith Road that morning. She said big and small parts of the truck were scattered across the roadway, covering most of the pavement.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life,” she described.

She said Upton Jr. was driving on the hill on Skipwith Road when Virginia State Police confirmed a 2016 Chevy pickup crossed the center line, slamming into his truck.

Police told 8News the Chevy pickup truck that hit Upton Jr.’s was modified, and Kallam confirmed it was the “Carolina squat.”

Upton Jr.’s family, and girlfriend, Nikki Allman, want the “Carolina squat” banned, saying it could’ve been part of the reason the deadly crash happened.

“BJ’s son doesn’t deserve to grow up in a state that has Carolina squat vehicles,” Kallam agreed.

Allman’s petition to ban the fad that’s illegal in only one state has garnered thousands of signatures. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper recently banned the modification.

“I just didn’t want to believe it was real. I still don’t want to believe it is real. That’s why I’m trying to focus my attention and my energy on the petition and getting as many signatures as I can, just to get some justice for BJ,” Allman told 8News in an interview Wednesday. “We’ve got to do something for him because he lived too big of a life to [not].”

Kallam said there’s no sense in allowing the dangerous fad, that she said could’ve played a part in why her future brother-in-law won’t get to be at her wedding.

“Someone lost a son, someone lost a father, Brayden Upton is 7-years-old. He will never have any more memories of his father,” she said.

Brayden’s mother, Crystal Hines, said that BJ was adored by everyone, and was a loving father and partner.

“Any chance he would get to take his son hunting or fishing he would,” Hines said. “We were together for 10 amazing years that I will never forever those memories. He could always make Brayden and I smile any chance he could get.”

Family and friends of Upton are working with delegate Otto Wachsmann who has committed to working towards introducing legislation to do with the “Carolina squat” during the next legislative session.

“This has been a tragic accident which resulted in a fatality,” said Wachsmann in a statement to 8News. “We need to allow the family their time to mourn this loss but I do commit on examining this further.”