Retired KCKFD chief killed in crash spent life dedicated to helping others, family says

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The family of the victim in a deadly crash last Friday in Kansas City, Kansas is healing.

Dave Pittaway, 66, spent more than 30 years as a firefighter in Wyandotte County. The retired KCK Fire Department battalion chief was hit by an oncoming car on Interstate 35 last Friday, when he stopped his car on the shoulder and attempted to retrieve a car’s bumper from the roadway.

Pittaway, a grandfather of eight, remained on life support until Tuesday, when he died at a hospital.

“He couldn’t have driven away and left things on the road like that,” Donna Pittaway, Dave’s wife for 31 years, said Thursday.

The Pittaways remember Dave as someone who’d dedicated his life to helping others. Pittaway was a faithful servant to his church community in Wyandotte County, and a frequent donor to metro nonprofit food pantries. He retired from KCK Fire in 2017.

The Pittaways hold a strong faith in God. Donna Pittaway said she’s praying for the other driver.

“I can’t say that’s God’s plan, but God has used it in so many ways. The person driving the car, we’ve been in contact with them,” Donna PIttaway said. “I had our family pray to let him know the forgiveness we have for him, and to pray that God just lifts him up and supports him through this.” 

“She’s got a very kind heart. She just doesn’t want people to remember the bad stuff. She wants them to remember the good stuff, and the good times,” Jeremy Dawson, Pittaway’s stepson said. 

KCK Firefighters are also grieving this tragedy. On Thursday, that agency sent a written statement to FOX4, saying, in part, “We will celebrate Dave Pittaway’s legacy and send our condolences to his entire family. May he rest in peace.”

Pittaway’s funeral services are scheduled for July 11, 2021. 

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