But that vibrant life was cut short in a peaceful meadow next to the boy's home. Investigators say he was driving a go-kart on a homemade track when it somehow flipped on its side and caught fire. Pugh was wearing his seat belt when he crashed. His father was outside in the yard, but didn’t hear the crash. He went to the meadow to check on his son and found him pinned inside the cart.
News of the accident spread quickly through Bourbon, where Kyle Pugh’s mother grew up and his grandpa is a Triton Junior High School social studies teacher.
“His grandkids, he doted on them,” said Lisa Zentz, who had Pugh’s grandpa as a teacher. “He thought a lot of them.”
“You couldn’t ask for a better family to know,” added Denise Terry of Bourbon.
The Pugh family is involved in 4-H, church, music boosters and athletic boosters. They are well known and well liked.
“[He was] a normal, active, energetic always on the go little boy. I just can't believe it, can't believe it,” said Lisa Zentz.
Pugh’s grandparents told WSBT, “He had a big heart. He was all boy – he loved John Deere and knew every piece of equipment – but he was just so kind to everybody. We will miss him so much."
“Whatever you do with your kids, each day, make those memories because you have no idea when God's going to call them home,” Zentz said.
Cleavenger said Pugh was pronounced dead at the scene.
Department of Natural Resources investigators said the boy was wearing his seat belt and a helmet when he first got on the go-kart. He was still belted in when his father found his body, but investigators couldn’t find his helmet in the meadow after the crash. They planned to return there to look for it Tuesday.
Investigators don’t know what caused the go-kart to flip and unlike a motorcycle or ATV, Pugh’s go-kart didn’t have a speedometer or tachometer on it so they have no idea how fast he was going. That’s something they might never know.