LAKELAND, Florida -- Blake Dowdy was not like other teens, his mother said. While other 16-year-olds may push the rules with curfew or assert their independence with mood spells, Blake was not that way.
He had dreams of becoming a pilot. He was a good student who made good grades.
Blake was following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who died in a plane crash in Leesburg seven years ago. In fact, Blake was a student at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy in Lakeland. It was his dream to one day enter the Air Force to serve his country and honor the grandpa he loved dearly.
It only seemed natural for the teen who flew often with his grandfather.
Blake's mother, Jennifer, spent her day doing what no mother ever wants to face -- making funeral arrangements for her son, who will never have the chance to make his dreams come true.
Blake's mother told 10 News, "He was the best son anyone could ever ask for. So lovable, so respectful. People would stop me in the store to say how polite he was. He was a sweet, happy boy. He never argued, never had a smart mouth. He was simply a wonderful child."
Ginger Rosenau, the principal at Kathleen High School, which partners with Aerospace Academy, said wonderful things about the student. "He loved friends, loved school. This is a tragedy. It is tough. We are working to help his parents."
Blake was walking home from a friend's house shortly after midnight on Saturday, when he was hit by a car and left to die on the side of the road. Deputies say a drunk driver, 29-year-old Christopher Koenig, called 911 on himself, admitting to the dispatcher that he hit the teenager with his truck.
"I was the one who hit him," said Koenig. "I was coming home from a bar."
Koenig was with his cousin. When 10 News went to his Lakeland home, we were told to get off the property.
Koenig is still behind bars. He had his first court appearance today in Polk County and is being held on a $10,000 bond. His next court appearance is December 31st.