A memorial bench was recently installed on the banks of Lake Nockamixon. Its peaceful location contrasts starkly to the way the life of its honoree was taken, reports Vinny Vella for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The hand-crafted seat is there to honor Jason Kutt, 18, who was accidentally shot by a mistaken hunter last fall.
It was built by Kutt’s father, Ron, a welder. He made it a distinctive green color partly in honor of Jason’s girlfriend, Erin. But also to be as visible as possible. The confusion in Jason’s killing, according to the shooter, resulted from his inability to the late teen clearly enough.
As the case proceeds through the judicial system, Jason’s parents wait. And grieve. And lobby. They’re seeking uniformity in Pennsylvania hunting laws across all state parks. Some ban hunting altogether; others allow it seasonally.
Ron, a sportsman himself, sees the need for change. “By all means: We’re all hunters,” he said. “I’m not looking to take anyone’s rights away. But there has to be a safety point. It’s not rocket science.”
The Kutts family imagines what their son’s future might have been — and mourns what was taken.
“He was going to go into the Air Force,” said Ron. “Things like that — the things he’ll never do — that’s what hurts the most and makes you say, ‘This really sucks.’”
More on the Kutt’s memorialization of their son is at The Philadelphia Inquirer.