Mother of Atherton High School student killed in accident remembers her son


by Gene Kang

Posted on June 11, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 12 at 10:21 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Out of more than 1,200 students, Dakota Pitzer was one of the most loved at Atherton High School in Louisville.

A freak accident took his life over the weekend.

When WHAS11 asked his mother what she will miss the most about her son she said, "His smile. Every time he'd come home, he'd smile at us when he came home from work. You know, hey mom and dad I'm home."

Allison Pitzer was holding back tears, remembering her 17-year old-son, Dakota.

Dakota was an Eagle Scout who believed in helping his friends. He was about to enter his senior year at Atherton High School.  

His last conversation with his principal was about fixing cars.

"He told me how much he loved working on Jeeps, he would buy and rebuild them," said Atherton High School Principal, Dr. Thomas Aberli.

Dakota died in a crash that sent his Jeep Wrangler from south to northbound lanes of I-71 near the Snyder Freeway, Saturday.

"One of the wheels came off the Jeep and he flipped all the way across and down the ravine,” said Pitzer.

Pitzer's Jeep smashed through a guard rail and landed by a tree.  

His mother says he was on his way to Breckenridge Inn as a lifeguard that day. Dakota called work to say he was having car trouble and would be late.

"When Dakota called he said hey my car broke down," said a lifeguard who trained him.

But when he got back on I-71, the wheel suddenly flew off.

His parents were going to a wedding when they got the tragic call.

"My husband and I kept on calling and texting and couldn't get a hold of him," said Pitzer.

The accident has caused unbelievable heartache for Dakota's mom, dad and 12-year-old brother.

"He was the best son anyone could ask for and he had some great friends. He was responsible, hard working," said Pitzer, “I keep on thinking he will walk through that door."

Dakota’s memorial service will be held Wednesday.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.