Truck of teen killed by drunk driver, donated to African village


The family is shipping the pickup truck to West Africa where it will be used in a village to take people to hospitals and give children transportation to school.

FREDERICK, Colorado — The engine is worn down, the bed needs a wash, and yet, the old red truck sitting inside a garage in Frederick is just perfect.

Nearly four years after he was killed by a drunk driver, a northern Colorado teenager’s legacy lives on through his pickup truck. His parents say Kyle Nackos loved to help others. Now they’re honoring their son by doing just that.

“He loved it. He beat it up pretty bad, but he loved it,” said Scott Nackos, Kyle’s father. “If he damaged it he’d fix it. He did have a lot of pride in that truck.”

It was Kyle Nackos’ first car. To understand why the old Ford Ranger is so perfect, you need to know why Kyle isn’t here with his parents at the garage today. 

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“It feels right. It really does,” said Julie Nackos, Kyle’s mother. “Sometimes I think, I can’t believe it’s been four years. But other days and other minutes I think it’s been so long since we’ve been able to see him and been able to hug him and tell him that we love him.”

It was the night before Thanksgiving in 2016 when the Nackos’ got a knock on their door. Kyle had been killed by a drunk driver coming home from a concert. He was just 19. 

From that day forward the Nackos’ have advocated against drunk driving to honor their son. 

Now they’re letting go of a memory that connects them to Kyle — the old Ford Ranger is getting ready for a new life.

In a couple weeks it’ll be loaded onto a shipping container and shipped halfway around the world to the least likely of places.

“It’s going to Burkina Faso, in West Africa,” said Julie Nackos. 

“This truck will help transport sick kids to the hospital, it’ll help people go get water that is so far away,” said Scott Nackos. 

Lara Holt is a friend of the Nackos’. When she heard of a community in a far off country in need of a car, she knew Kyle might be able to help, even if he isn’t here with us today.

“I’m thinking, how are we going to get a vehicle? And she says we have Kyle’s truck,” said Holt. “It has been a healing process, to be able to give and provide something for someone else.”

The project has grown beyond just donating the car. The family is also collecting donations of computers and schools supplies to send to the village in Africa where the truck is going. They’re also planning to build a well for water, all in honor of Kyle. You can access the GoFundMe here. 

“Kyle lives on through his truck and through helping others,” said Scott Nackos. “That’s what life is all about, helping others.”

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