Orion Glenn Hutchinson 1987-2008

He was enthralled by nature, but he couldn’t sit still. ‘Hanging around with him was a roller coaster.’


Orion Glenn Hutchinson

Orion Glenn Hutchinson was born in Vancouver on April 8, 1987, to Judith, an executive assistant with a financial consulting firm, and Glenn, an airline mechanic. He was an exceptionally lively child and his brilliant blue eyes and long dark lashes were so arresting that strangers often stopped and stared. Glenn pasted a baby picture on his toolbox and people “didn’t think it was real,” he remembers. Judith describes Orion as “an old soul,” meaning that from the time he was very young, he was preternaturally intelligent. He was also enthralled by everything in nature from pine cones to caterpillars. As he grew up, he was so protective of living things, “He wouldn’t let us kill a spider,” she recalls. And, “His imagination was incredible.” To fuel it, Judith lugged home library books—especially mythological tales—every week. “I would have to be careful because he would become very terrified or obsessed with different aspects of the stories,” she says. “He would take to things far more intensely than other kids.” As a toddler, he loved to sit behind the wheel of the family car and practise driving, making all the engine and shifting noises, Glenn says. “Even at three, he knew what it meant to be cut off in traffic.”

By the time Orion was four, the family, which by then included daughter Daria, moved south to the coastal community of Tsawwassen, where Glenn worked as a firefighter and Judith as a fitness coach and freelance writer. It was a perfect place for Orion. He studied marine life and disappeared into the woods to play his ocarina, a haunting wind instrument. He met his friend, Stephen Luciak, at Cliff Drive Elementary School when the pair were kicked out of a Grade 2 class for rearranging the teacher’s pens. Orion, was very “high energy,” Stephen says. “Overwhelming.” The two boys often biked long distances with Glenn, but without supervision, Orion tackled steep trails that frightened Stephen. Orion didn’t have many other friends, Daria says. “The friends he had, they had to come to him.” She says he was reserved, but Stephen remembers it differently. “Hanging around with him was a roller coaster. Every step you took was like going around a blind corner.”

As he continued in school, “Orion couldn’t stay seated,” Judith says. “Whether you call it attention deficit disorder, or one of the other terms, he didn’t do well in a structured environment.” And “Accidents happened to him,” Stephen says. Orion once stuck a key into an electrical outlet; as a child, he cut all the wires in the house. He tried to shear off his hair after watching balding B.C. premier Mike Harcourt on TV. High school at South Delta Secondary was a struggle, but Orion graduated. And outdoors, he was always in his element. Swimming, mountain biking or kayaking, Daria says, “He loved anything moving outside in fresh air.”

In his later teens, Orion faced more struggles. His parents separated. He fell in love with a neighbourhood girl named Kate Van Den Brink, who shared his passion for animals, words and music. The two were so close that they all but shut out the rest of the world. When Kate died at 17 of a virulent intestinal infection on a visit to England, he was devastated. “Orion wanted to get a plane ticket and go out there right away,” Daria says. “We had to put some reason into him.”

On his 19th birthday, Orion bought a 599 cc Yamaha FZ6. He used it to travel back and forth to a trades program at Burnaby’s British Columbia Institute of Technology. “I was terrified for him,” Judith says. “But he thought it was the epitome of cool.” Last February, it wasn’t the bike, but a disagreement that landed Orion in the hospital. By some accounts, he was defending Kate’s little brother against boys with hammers. “He almost lost an eye,” Judith says. Orion recovered and completed his courses at BCIT. He had just landed a good-paying job at a machinist’s. “He was really coming into his own,” his aunt Sara Wagner says. Yet Stephen worried. On a visit home five weeks ago, Stephen says Orion “was out of control. I told him, ‘that bike will kill you.’ ”

On Sat., Oct. 25, Orion left home to visit Kate’s grave at nearby Boundary Bay Cemetery, Judith thinks. At 10:15 p.m., on a main Tsawwassen street, a Jeep Wrangler turned left into his path, crushing the motorcycle and killing Orion. The Jeep was allegedly driven by an RCMP corporal identified in the media as Benjamin Monty Robinson, one of four Mounties involved in the 2007 incident at the Vancouver airport that saw Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski die after he was tasered. On the night Orion died, Robinson failed a Breathalyzer test at Delta police headquarters. He has not been charged with anything, but on Jan. 15, he will appear in a Surrey, B.C., court.


Orion Glenn Hutchinson 1987-2008

  1. Wow. Thank you for this.

  2. Interesting perspective on my nephew… not totally accurate but what media stories are? I find it interesting that you played him up to be reckless. He had his faults, however few considered him any more reckless than your average 21 year old man (having spent a lot of time with him, I see him as less reckless than most).

    Since I knew how the story ends, I found this odd… does it matter how reckless someone is (or isn’t) when they get hit by a drunk driver? Are you any less dead? The investigation didn’t show my nephew to be at fault. Perhaps the only thing that would have prevented his death would have been if he was driving a car however, he could have just as easily been a pedestrian as this was the neighbourhood where he lived, so the consequences would have been the same. Most would consider the RCMP officer driving impaired with his own 2 young children in his car to be the reckless one.

    Despite this, I feel bad for the officer’s family. Two small children saw my nephew killed by their father’s actions. His wife and kids live in a small community where Orion’s parents (who are well respected and well known) also live & work. This is tragic for everyone and it would be a long time before a lot of people feel “normal” again.

  3. Wow…..what to say? They really painted a picture of Orion, sadly, not the picture I would have hoped. Had I not known Orion personally, I would have pictured him as a reckless, know-it-all, hermit teenager that seemed to have trouble follow him. Kate was my best friend, and as such, I got to know Orion very well. He was my rock and my strength when she passed….always there for me. I remember him taking me for a ride shortly after he bought his bike….and then hanging out at his house afterwards. Orion was selective who he let into his life, but if you were one of the lucky ones he would give you the shirt off of his back in a heartbeat!

    I remember my boyfriend calling me and telling me that there had been an accident, and that Orion had died. He drove me down to the scene in the middle of the night and we started the memorial, which grew very quickly.

    The media can play it any way they wish – but at the end of the day, the world lost a very kind, loving soul. A brother, son, nephew…..friend……….was lost. Hopefully his legacy will live on through those close to him, rather than what was in print. I miss both Kate and Orion every day and visit them often. In such a tragedy, I smile when I think that they’re together again.

  4. orion did defend me and i cant get the image out of my mind it eats me up inside. orion wasnt a violent person but he will defend friends and family any way he can. thats the way he learnd and thats the way he tot me. he tot me lots of things like to be friendly and to use my brain,
    please dont make me look like such a bad person. "he was defending Kate's little brother against boys with hammers". that was 1 thing and it eats me up inside im sorry. but me kate and orion had the best times of our lives together i always taged along it was just us 3 i miss them that was my life. i apoligze for the hammer incidint but please do relize theres ALOTE more behind this then just that. but atleast we all know that kate and orion are together and aslong as we fight tell the end we will see them agian.

  5. this post makes me cry. the way i see it orion loved nature animals and insects i rember a few years ago we would site for hours at a time watching the ants collect food and bring it back to there nest. orion kept me in touch with myself he was my best and only friend for many many years. a year back mabye i was hanging out with some kid, and after he left i was thinking to myself "are there any normal people left in the world" and then orion came down and i relized there was atleast normal person 1 left. orion loved kate they had everything in common and many life experincise that were simalar + this spark between them, i think thats why they loved eachother so much, i remeber the first time orion was here he sat with kate and watched a movie i did everything i could to get them to be together, and it worked not because of me but beacuse they were ment to be together.

  6. It's far more disagreeable to some, the way the mother, Judith Hutchinson, abused Orion's father so badly that she cut Orion off from his own father for years before he died. It's sad for Orion and his father that the mother had to learn in the most painful of ways, what it's like to have a child taken from you. Will she draw that conclusion herself? Doubtfully, since she continues along the same ugly lines and has taught her daughter the same ways. This story is far more tragic than Orion's death.

  7. shut the fuck up "thetruth" jutdith did a damn fine job of rasing orion and who the fuck are u to say she didnt and from what ive heard orions "father" would come home with a brand new computer for him self and nothing for the rest of the family and never spend shit on somthing nice 4 the all the them. from wut ive heard orions "father" was a self centered cheap little fuck who trys to make every one feel as shitty as him… u got no right to say shit buddy espelsially on a fucking page about orion dying u got some issues. mabye u couldnt say it to her face? alitlle bit nervourse? i sure as fuck would be. cant even say ur real name either. ur a bitch buddy orions was the person he was beacuse of the way he was raised.. by jutdith and doug. and ya it is alote more tragic then just orions death its kates death to. and dont fucking speak 4 orion man ur a fucking idiot and u think having a kid taking away from u is as bad as having a kid dying i think ur fucked in the head i think ur trying to make judith feel worse then she already does ur fucked up buddy. u got no right i can tell u one thing if orion was still alive he would knock u

  8. u say this on apage for orion i u need help buddy n judith raised orion better then u can imagine he wouldnt have turned into the person he was if it wasnt for judith and doug and from what ive heard orions "father" was cheap and selfcenetercd and aperllintly screwed enough to put this on a page for orion and he would come home with a nice brand new compouter for himslef and nothing 4 everyone else u got no right to say anything u obously didnt know orion to well and if he read that i garintee u he would Knock u

  9. When I heard about this tragedy and since then I noticed the lack of information from Orion's family. All I read is about the police officer who killed him and people who hate that police officer because of what they had in common with Orion. They ride bikes. I get all that and it should all be noted. But… Who was Orion? Where's his family? How are they doing? What do they think about this cop?I googled Orions name and found this article. Now I see why his family has stayed out of the lime light. Why would anyone want to subject themselves this kind of attack. As far as the article I didn't find it well done or insightful. I have sons in their twenties and took all the stuff about Orion's troubles with a grain of salt. The article lacked feeling and it left me wanting to read the comments that followed it. Orion's aunt and Kate's brother wrote which was lovely. But the last couple of notes …… Don't you two remember what Thumper's dad said to him? If can't say something nice then don't say anything at all". I pass my condolences on to Orion's parents, sister and all his friends who love and miss him. RIP

  10. I know Glenn Hutchinson VERY well, and have all my life. I also know his conniving, manipulative, Narcissistic, evil mother, Judith Hutchinson, who demonizes anyone whom she needs to have control over. She uses her IQ to be deviously sinister in her manipulations, and the fact that you just spewed that LIE about Glenn, is testimony to her evil. She did NOT deserve Orion and that is why she lost him. BY FAR the more decent human of the parents is Glenn and if I hear her b.s. anymore, I am going to make a comment under every last bit of it. She is a dark, angry, and screwed up human who needs to be taught some lessons.

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