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Man killed in northern Alberta collision with moose remembered as funny, fearless father

A loving father, fearless daredevil and helpful son: That’s how friends and family remember Dustin Peterson, the victim of a recent crash.

'He had no problem giving everything to help people,' says mother

Dustin Peterson with his daughter, River. Family say the pair were inseparable. (Submitted by Joanne Osborne)

A loving father, fearless daredevil and helpful son: that's how friends and family remember Dustin Leslie Robin Peterson, the victim of a recent car crash. 

Joanne Osborne, Peterson's mother, was best friends with her son. 

Peterson called her around 10:15 p.m. on July 23 to tell her that he was driving home from visiting his seven-year-old daughter in Anzac. 

Around 12:30 a.m., he was driving on highway 881 when his car hit a moose on the road. Peterson, 30, died on impact. 

A second passenger died and two others survived with minor injuries. 

"Everyone that has a memory of my kid, [he] was nothing but laughs," said Osborne.

Peterson lived with his mother in Sundre, Alta. and the two worked together frequently, running heavy equipment. 

One time Osborne was with her son, who was 18 at the time, at a work camp. During dinner with coworkers, she started cutting his steak into pieces without thinking.

"We never lived that down," she said.

Dustin Peterson with his daughter at her birthday party. (Submitted by Joanne Osborne)

Peterson would help anyone who needed it, even if it was a stranger, said Osborne. 

"He knew what it was like to not have stuff," she said. "And he had no problem giving everything to help people." 

He would fix people's skidoos and quads and ask for nothing in return, Osborne said.

"If I ever go down the road and see somebody stranded I'll probably stop and that will be my Dusty moment."

Beth Hamelin, Peterson's aunt, remembers when Peterson was about 12 and crashed his dirt bike. He split his knee open and needed to go to Edmonton for stitches.  

"He was pretty brave. That kid had no fear when it came to dirt bikes," said Hamelin. "I think the faster they could go, the more exciting it was."

Hamelin is in the midst of planning a celebration of life for Peterson in Lac La Biche, where he grew up.

A young Dustin Peterson. Peterson's grandmother says he was a joy to be around even he was a kid. (Submitted by Joanne Osborne)

Donna Kubik said her grandson was a "doer." When she got a new house, Peterson showed up, packed her stuff, moved it and unpacked it for her.

Kubik takes care of her great-grandson. When Peterson would visit, he would take him fishing. 

"He had him doing everything that I couldn't." 

She said even when Peterson was a kid he was a joy to be around, and she can't remember a time when he had a fit or cried because he didn't get his way.

And when Peterson was with his own daughter, Kubik said she "followed him around like a little puppy." 

"They just couldn't get enough of each other." 

When Kubik found out about the crash, she was devastated. 

"It was like the bottom of my soul fell out." 

Dustin Peterson helping build a cook shack for his mother. (Submitted by Joanne Osborne)

Colton Kuryliw had been friends with Peterson since the sixth grade. They often drove around ATVs at a time when Jackass was popular.

"We were adrenaline jockeys just like that," he said.

One time the pair were driving around the muskeg swamp on motorbikes. They weren't going that fast but Peterson's bike nosedived into the muskeg and he went right over the handlebars.

Kuryliw said he was in shock when he found out about the crash. 

"After all ... that we've been through, this is what takes him?"

Kuryliw will remember Peterson as a man who always "wanted to make you feel good, put a smile on your face, and show you love."

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