Vittitoe family: Good Samaritan 'held us all together' - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Vittitoe family: Good Samaritan 'held us all together'

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David Vittitoe David Vittitoe
David Vittitoe's F-150 parked outside of the church where his funeral was held Friday. David Vittitoe's F-150 parked outside of the church where his funeral was held Friday.
Michael Vittitoe Michael Vittitoe
Jesse Vittitoe Jesse Vittitoe
David Vittitoe's F-150 carried his casket to his final resting place. David Vittitoe's F-150 carried his casket to his final resting place.

BULLITT COUNTY, KY (WAVE) – Dozens of residents of Lebanon Junction and beyond came to pay their final respects to the young man killed trying to protect strangers.

 Lebanon Junction's First Baptist is not David Vittitoe's home congregation. But his family needed its size Friday. His funeral filled every pew -- the balcony too – to mourn the young man who knew no strangers. And whose first thoughts always were of helping others.

"My Mom and Dad, you see somebody walking or needing a hand - you helped them out," David's father, Michael Vittitoe, said on Wednesday. "I've tried to instill that in all of them."

David, 23, was the third-born of Michael and Kathy Vittitoe's five children. Or, as his older sister and next-younger brother told those assembled for services, he was the middle child for a reason.

"He held us all together," Jesse Vittitoe said.

"Dad was the boss, but everybody looked to David," Jennifer Jekel recalled. "Dad wrote the checks, but David ran the (family-owned trucking) company."

Friday, David's father drove his son's truck; the Ford F150 pickup whose warning lights were flashing Monday night when David died on Joe Prather Highway, KY 313 outside Radcliff. Another car struck him as he stood directing traffic around a stranger's Jeep, disabled when it struck a deer. Radcliff call the case an open investigation, and are awaiting results of the driver's blood tests for drugs and alcohol.

"Any chance he got, he would be helping somebody-he didn't mind," Jesse Vittitoe said Wednesday. He would do whatever it took to make sure the people around him were safe."

"You want to look back," Michael Vittitoe said Wednesday. Second-guess and wish you had that chance-to do it over again."

Friday, mourners would hear that anger, sorrow and regret in the lyrics of, "I Drive Your Truck" ; country singer Lee Brice's ode to a brother lost in battle.

          "I drive your truck
          I roll every window down
         And I burn up
         Every back road in this town
         I find a field, I tear it up, ‘Til all the pain's a cloud of dust…"

The song played on David's father's car radio Monday as he drove to the scene following the collision. 

"Fate," Michael Vittitoe said. "It tested your faith though. With such a perfect, perfect model son-something like this happens to you--so, so unexpectedly."

"God, we don't understand. I don't know what to tell them," the Vittitoe's pastor, Brother Wayne Borders, told mourners. "It's hard to imagine, but the spirit of God is here today."

"Our children, when they take their last breaths, we would hope they would be doing something like David did," Pastor Darrin Wolford eulogized. "You can leave here with peace, knowing he was beckoned to God's realm. And that's where he ought to be."

"He just had a heart that was bigger and stronger than anybody I've ever met," Jesse Vittitoe said.

Upon leaving services, David's truck would become to hearse to take him to final resting place. His brother Jesse was among his pall bearers.

"I can't honor him, except by living the right way," Jesse Vittitoe told those assembled. "I think that's what I'm gonna do."

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