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Mistaken-way crash kills unique pet retail outlet operator Dylan Hazelhurst

As Dylan Hazelhurst drove from Colorado to Las Vegas on Feb. 4, he was living his desire.

The 30-calendar year-aged was heading to stop by his newly opened Las Vegas exotic pet keep — the second locale for his enterprise that was ultimately taking off. His rescue parrot and three dogs, Achilles, Sienna and Annie, who was just a pup, were being with him in his 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. He was heading to check with his girlfriend to marry him shortly.

He was about 50 miles from Las Vegas when a erroneous-way driver crashed into his van head-on. Hazelhurst and the other driver, 39-calendar year-old Rayanne Might Walters, of Logandale, both of those died at the scene.

“He genuinely was a good soul,” Hazelhurst’s mom, Debbie Hazelhurst, reported Tuesday in a mobile phone interview. “Maybe that’s the types that God usually takes early. I don’t comprehend why, simply because he was only 30.”

Nevada Freeway Patrol troopers were named to the crash about 9:25 p.m. Feb. 4 on Interstate-15 in the vicinity of Moapa. Investigators feel Walters, who was driving a 2004 Toyota Tacoma, was traveling north in the southbound lanes on the highway when she crashed into Hazelhurst, who was from Grand Junction, Colorado.

Freeway Patrol spokesman Travis Smaka claimed Tuesday that the agency is continue to investigating what caused the crash, introducing that investigators are ready on toxicology reports to figure out if impairment was a issue.

Debbie Hazelhurst reported being aware of how the crash took place would supply some answers, but “nothing is heading to carry back again our son.”

Walters’ relatives did not reply to a ask for for remark. Throughout a temporary mobile phone connect with Tuesday, a woman who discovered herself as Walters’ mother claimed, “She was a gorgeous human being.”

A enjoy for animals

Also killed in the crash were Hazelhurst’s canines, Annie and Achilles, and his 45-calendar year-old yellow-breasted Amazon parrot, Fred. Debbie Hazelhurst, who also life in Grand Junction, Colorado, said she and her spouse drove to the crash internet site to obtain Fred’s system, so that her son’s pets who died could be cremated with him.

Sienna, Dylan Hazelhurst’s only pet to survive, is now dwelling with his girlfriend. The household has taken to contacting her “Sienna Angel,” due to the fact she didn’t have a scratch on her soon after the crash, Debbie Hazelhurst claimed.

Hazelhurst grew up loving animals, his mom said. As a youngster he wandered with his pet doggy, searching for lizards, snakes and scorpions. He “lived and breathed” the Discovery Channel, and Steve Irwin was his hero.

“He talked about this eternally in his lifestyle — that some day he was heading to do something with animals,” Debbie Hazelhurst mentioned. “That was all he at any time preferred to do.”

In 2013, Dylan Hazelhurst begun his small business Crocodile Reef, which at first targeted on installing custom fish and reptile tanks. The small business grew to incorporate a reptile and unique animal exhibit well known with field visits and children’s birthday parties.

Through his perform, Hazelhurst became buddies with Ken Foose, who opened his Unique Pets retailer in Las Vegas in 1991. When Foose died in September, Hazelhurst did not want his demise to leave a long lasting gap in the Las Vegas unique animal local community, Debbie Hazelhurst stated.

So Dylan Hazelhurst took about the Unique Pets area, keeping a grand opening for his next Crocodile Reef site in November, his mother claimed. He invested weeks at a time in Las Vegas, and was thinking of going to the condition.

During his daily life, the 30-calendar year-previous had owned snakes, lizards, iguanas, tarantulas, insects and wallabies. Although animals took up most of his time, “there wasn’t a lot he did not consider,” Debbie Hazelhurst said. Her son raced go-karts in Italy, jumped from planes as a skydiver and volunteered to ride a reside bull.

He traveled regularly, and Debbie Hazelhurst has used the earlier few weeks fielding effectively-needs from men and women across the U.S., some of whom only fulfilled her son when, but in no way forgot his kindness.

“He was the goofy man, he was the a person who produced absolutely everyone laugh,” Debbie Hazelhurst stated, incorporating that his dying has remaining “a void” in the family members.

‘He lived the dream’

Dylan Hazelhurst knew his mother and father nervous when he took extended drives, and he created a position to retain in contact, his mom reported. She heard his voice for the very last time about an hour prior to the crash — she needed to connect with and see how considerably he was from the Las Vegas Valley.

She and her spouse went to bed soon just after, expecting to wake up to a textual content from their son. But there had been no notifications the next early morning. Then arrived a phone from the Clark County coroner’s place of work.

“It was just terrible,” Debbie Hazelhurst claimed. “It’s continue to awful.”

She understood her son was aware that his lengthy drives could change tragic. About a month in advance of the crash, her son sat her down and said if something ended up to materialize to him, he required his mothers and fathers to retain his business enterprise likely.

So that is what Debbie Hazelhurst is doing. She and her husband, who were currently hunting just after the store in Colorado, are holding up with the animals and performing with their son’s personnel.

Immediately after bouncing concerning odd work, Crocodile Reef did not genuinely “take off” right until this past year, Debbie Hazelhurst stated. But she is delighted her son never ever gave up on his targets.

“He lived the dream that he talked about,” she said.

Speak to Katelyn Newberg at [email protected] or 702-383-0240. Observe @k_newberg on Twitter.