Friends Trying to Make Sense of Teen’s Death

SCRANTON — An autopsy done on a teenager from Scranton came to no conclusion as to what led to the 15 year old’s death in Scranton.

The boy was climbing down off the roof of a car wash Tuesday when he fell. He seemed okay, but died later at a hospital.

Family and friends of John Dutter were hoping for more of an explanation after his autopsy Thursday morning. But the Lackawanna County Coroner said more testing needs to be done to find out what actually killed the Scranton High School Freshman.

It was at Wizard Car Wash on Moosic Street in Scranton where Dutter was with friends Tuesday night. The high school freshmen were taking turns running from the garage roof and taking a leap.

Scranton Police said Dutter decided not to jump, and while his friends were helping him climb down, he fell and hit his head. Police said cell phone video backs up their story and shows Dutter getting up and saying he’s okay, but the boy eventually collapsed and died later at the hospital.

The Lackawanna County Coroner said Thursday they can’t determine if it was the fall from the roof that killed Dutter.

John Coyle is the principal at Scranton High School and told Newswatch 16 that Dutter’s death has shaken the student body at the school. Counselors, including Doreen Dickinson, have offered grief counseling and spoke with the other freshman students who were with Dutter Tuesday night.

“I think that there’s been a lot of stories and kids talking amongst each other, again we keep trying to say what’s important is that we take care of each other,” Dickinson said.

Dickinson said Dutter was a well-liked and respectful student who played on the school’s freshman football team. Teachers are keeping his classmates focused on Dutter’s memory but can’t deny there will be at least some relief when they know exactly what happened Tuesday night.

“One boy in one of the classes said, ‘No matter what happens, he’ll always be in our hearts and he’ll always be a knight.’” Dickinson added.

A public viewing will be held for Dutter Sunday afternoon at the McGoff-Hughes Funeral Home. Funeral services will be private.

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