Family of teen speaks about hunting tragedy


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Last weekend a Farr West teenager was accidentally shot to death during a hunting trip in Daggett County. Tonight, his sister and cousin talk about what he meant to them and how they think he died.

Throughout this week, 1,000 people paid tribute to 15-year-old Nick Joynt, according to his family. His cousin Heidi Thomson said, "Every time you turn around, they just come up and give you a hug. Those kids were so great." His sister Beth Joynt agreed. "Just tons of kids. I don't think he realized how many people cared about him."

Beth Joynt, Nick's sister
Beth Joynt, Nick's sister

Friends and family are now suffering with an emptiness because Nick is gone. Thomson said, "He just loved life to the fullest. Anything he did, he did with his whole heart."

And the 15-year-old sophomore from Fremont High School never passed up an opportunity to join his family on their hunting trips. Little did he know, his first elk hunt in Daggett County last weekend would be his last. "He passed away doing what he loved the most, up in the mountains and with his best friend, my dad," Beth Joynt said. "They were buddies, they were so close."

Heidi Thomson, Nick's cousin
Heidi Thomson, Nick's cousin

Nick was shot, but how remains unclear. Early reports suggested his father's gun may have accidentally discharged and killed him, but the family believes the bullet came from somewhere else. "It was a stray bullet," his sister said. "How many people draw out for that elk hunt?"

"It was nobody in the hunting party, and we don't care who did it," his cousin said. "We don't want them to feel the way we feel."

Family of teen speaks about hunting tragedy

The Daggett County Sheriff is waiting on the medical examiner's report to determine how Nick died. No matter what the answer is, it won't bring back a teen who was taken too soon and touched many while he was here. Beth said, "He was just the best brother you could have ever had, the most loving person ever."

Nick Joynt's funeral was yesterday in Ogden. Nick wanted to be a Texas Ranger when he grew up. His family says they made him an honorary Ranger.

E-mail: gkennedy@ksl.com

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