Vaping industry plans fundraiser for young man killed along I-65 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Vaping industry plans fundraiser for young man killed along I-65

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- A fairly new business just south of the University of Louisville campus, Thoroughbred Vapors is a small part of the Louisville area’s growing vaping industry.

“It’s just a tight-knit community. It’s a family,” said Abby Wynn, a manager at the business. “We’ll all come together as a community, pull together to do what we can.”

The manufacturers and employees at the business are very familiar with Billy Dezern. The 21-year-old sold vaping products and dreamed of one day starting his own business.

“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,” said Billy Bryant, the owner of Weird Vapes.

On Saturday morning, Dezern and his father were both hit by a truck driven by an alleged drunk driver while the two helped fix a broken down car along I-65 in Bullitt County.

Dezern’s father was taken to University Hospital. He was listed in critical condition, but he is expected to survive.

As for Dezern, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“He was willing to do anything for anybody, and unfortunately, he passed in doing so,” Wynn said.

“You don’t have to be blood relatives to be family, and we considered Billy to be a family member,” Bryant said.

That bond led several in the vaping industry to organize a fundraising effort for Friday night at Thoroughbred Vapors on South Second Street. Donations will be collected and prizes will be raffled off that night from 7-10 p.m.

All money raised will be given to the Dezern family.

“Obviously, we’re not gonna take away their pain, but I hope that we can ease their hardships,” Bryant said.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.

Robert Whitaker is the 51-year-old driver accused of hitting Dezern and his father. He’s in the Bullitt County Detention Center facing several charges, including manslaughter and DUI.

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Girlfriend of man killed while fixing car on I-65: 'He was one of a kind, and I will always love him'

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