Members of the Louisville community suffered a tragic loss Saturday when a well-respected vape shop employee was struck down and killed by an alleged drunk driver.
Billy Dezern and his father were fixing a broken car along the I-65 in Bullitt County, when the two were hit by a truck driven by a man believed to have been intoxicated at the time of the incident, according to WDRB NEWS.
Dezern’s father was taken to a nearby hospital and listed in critical condition, but Dezern was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 21-year-old worked at a vape shop called Weird Vapes and the shop’s owner, Billy Bryant, thought highly of his late employee.
“He was a frequent customer for quite a while, and I figured if he was gonna buy as much of it, then I might as well put him to work selling it, so he sold for me,” Bryant said. “You don’t have to be blood relatives to be family, and we considered Billy to be a family member.”
That closeness those who knew him felt led several in the vape industry to organize a fundraiser at Thoroughbred Vapors with all money raised from donations and raffles going to the Dezern family, WDRB reports.
Thoroughbred Vapors manager, Abby Wynn, describes the Louisville vape community as “tight-knit” where people are made to feel like family.
“He was willing to do anything for anybody,” Wynn said when describing Dezern. “And unfortunately, he passed in doing so.”
A GoFundMe campaign was created to help raise money for the family’s funeral expenses and in just three days has raised nearly enough to meet the $10,000 goal.
“Obviously, we’re not gonna take away their pain, but I hope that we can ease their hardships,” Bryant said.
To read more on this story, click here for the WDRB NEWS article.
The GoFundMe campaign can be found here, and will be running until the end of the week.