SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Billy Dezern was his family’s go-to guy for just about everything.
So when his brother’s girlfriend broke down Saturday morning along I-65 in Bullitt County, she knew exactly who to call.
"He picked up immediately and said he’d be there in 15 minutes, and he was not a minute late," Heaven Hernandez said.
The 21-year-old took his father Kenny Dezern Sr. along for the ride.
“They popped the hood, and when they did, somebody veered over at a high rate of speed and hit my brother, and killed him instantly on impact,” Billy’s brother, Kenny Dezern, Jr. said.
“I held Billy when he got hit,” Hernandez recalled. “For about five minutes, I tried to bring Billy back, but I knew that he was gone.”
Kenny Dezern, Sr. was also hit. He was taken to University Hospital where he was listed in critical condition.
His family says he is expected to recover.
“He still doesn’t know what happened. We’ve been somewhat reluctant to tell him because we’re afraid that it could hurt his progress,” said Kenny Dezern, Jr.
As for the driver who hit the father and son, investigators say he drove off, but he was later tracked down.
While the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office has not released any information about the investigation, the staff at the Bullitt County Detention Center says 51-year-old Robert Whitaker was arrested in connection with the incident.
Whitaker faces several charges including manslaughter, assault, DUI, and leaving the scene.
"This was a bad person that took the innocent life of one of the most kindest, loving people in the world," Kenny Dezern, Jr. said. "They could lock him up for a million years, but that’s not gonna bring my brother back. That’s gonna be a void that’s gonna be there forever for us."
Family members say Billy Dezern was working to build pools in Louisville, but the North Bullitt High School graduate had a dream of starting his own vaping business.
Billy Dezern's other love was Taylor McDonald, his girlfriend of three years. The night before his death, he told his brother that he planned to propose to her on Christmas Day.
"He was just such a good person and he didn’t deserve this," McDonald said. "There will never be another Billy Dezern. He was one of a kind, and I will always love him."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.
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