Over the weekend, a Kansas man was killed in a freak hunting accident involving his own dog. The man is being remembered for his extraordinary personality.
Reports indicate that the man was killed when his dog stepped on his rifle, discharging it while they were both inside a pickup truck. The dog’s owner was sitting in the driver’s seat, while the rifle was positioned in the backseat.
According to PEOPLE:
Joseph Austin Smith, 30, of Witchita, was killed Saturday morning when his dog discharged the gun while they both were inside his pickup truck, the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office says in a series of press releases, obtained by PEOPLE.
Police said the accident took place in the area of 80th Street South and River Road, which is north of Geuda Springs, according to ABC affiliate KAKE.
The victim was sitting in the front passenger seat of his vehicle when the dog “stepped on the rifle” in the back seat, according to the department. The bullet struck Smith, who “died of his injuries” at the scene.
A GoFundMe for Joe Smith has already surpassed its goal of raising $20,000. The campaign was set up by his employer Browns Plumbing Services, a Wichita based plumbing service.
The GoFundMe states:
My name is Chris, and I am creating this on behalf of the Smith family in order to help with the funeral and memorial costs of our beloved employee, Joe Smith, who unexpectedly was taken from us over the weekend.Donations made here will go directly to the family to not only cover funeral costs but any other expenses that arise for the family in the coming months, and allow Joe’s family to grieve without the burden of financial stress.Joe is absolutely the most unique individual I have had the pleasure of meeting. He was loved by all of us from all walks of life and loved the same. He made us laugh every morning whether it was at him or because of him he always made sure to be a positive light at my company. No matter how bad or stressful my or our day was, Joe always had something to lift our spirits. I have been a plumber for a long time and met many many different guys but never have I met another Joe and I am confident there may not be another.If you were lucky enough to know, be a friend or family of Joe, you understand what a great loss this is to the world. We must all learn to navigate without him in it.Please consider donating if you can, as any amount will truly help. We are very grateful for any donation during this very difficult time. If you are not able to donate, it would mean the world to us for you to share this link, someone else may be able to.I know it would mean a lot to myself, the rest of our crew, family and friends if you also shared a memory or story of Joe and what he has meant to you.We will forever feel so blessed to have him in our lives for just a short time. We will never forget you, Joe.With love, Browns Plumbing Family.A few words from Jessica a beloved friend and coworker,“Joseph Smith was a truly amazing man. He was kind, funny, smart, and very loving. Every time he walked through the door, he would make someone smile. Either from being a goofball or just his natural presence making everything better. It wasn’t hard to love Joe because he always made you feel like you were one of a kind and never left a conversation without letting you know he loved you. Joe is going to be dearly missed by so many. He was a great friend, employee, cousin, brother, son, and dog owner. We have loved and lost one of the best. Rest in Peace Joseph.”
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