Hunting accident sends one to hospital

Published 10:33 am Wednesday, May 6, 2009

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP — It started out as a recreational event and ended up a medical emergency.

A South Webster man is in serious condition today after being shot while turkey hunting Tuesday morning in an area off Telegraph Hill in Washington Township.

Chris Rollins, 33, was taken from the scene by helicopter to Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, W.Va.

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Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said Rollins and his cousin, Joshua Blevins, 22, of Piketon, were seated near each other when a turkey crossed the field in front of them.

Blevins told authorities he fired at the turkey and thought he had hit it, the turkey took off and both men gave chase.

Blevins told authorities that while he was running, the gun discharged. Rollins was struck once in the right lower back with a .12-gauge shotgun.

“All preliminary indications are this was an accidental shooting,” Lawless said. “But it is under investigation and Mr. Blevins is speaking with our detectives as well as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.”

Lawless said the terrain made it difficult to find the two men and he is surprised Rollins was able to use his cell phone and summon help, because that area of the county typically does not have adequate cellular service.

“It was very thickly wooded, it was two miles from the paved road, it was a difficult location where this gentleman was, we were feeling our way through the woods,” Lawless said.

The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, Wayne National Forest, South Webster Fire Department and South East Ohio Emergency Medical Services all assisted the sheriff’s office with the incident.