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Friends, Bethel community struggling with golfer Kyle Lewis' death

By Scott Wright, Staff Writer, Modified: July 29, 2010 at 9:39 am •  Published: July 27, 2010

When he's not coaching golf at Bethel High School, Jason Crouch works as a Shawnee police officer. He deals with thieves and drug dealers. Abusive and malicious people.

That's why Crouch can't make his mind rationalize what happened Monday evening, and why one of his closest friends is gone.

Bethel golfer Kyle Lewis died Monday when his Chevrolet pickup left the road and struck a bridge embankment, not long after he competed in the All-State golf tournament in Broken Arrow.

"I deal with a lot of the bad element of society, and you see some of them live long lives," Crouch said. "And then you've got a kid who has never done anything bad to anyone — and so young.

"That's the hardest thing for me. He was just so young and had everything in front of him. It's just so hard to understand why it had to happen. It's hard to rationalize for me, because there are a lot of memories with me and Kyle."

A vigil will be held for Lewis tonight at 6:30 at the Bethel High School gym. Funeral services are set for Friday at 10 a.m., also at the Bethel gym.

Several of Lewis' teammates and friends were cleaning the gym Tuesday morning so it would be spotless for the service.

"That was part of the healing process for them. They wanted to do something," said Bethel administrator and girls basketball coach Jerry Johnson. "This has just wrecked the community.

"When we were trying to find a place for the service, Kyle's mother said he spent hours and hours at that gym. He loved it there."

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