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The Scoop


Verbatim: 2 area hunters hospitalized after falling from tree stands

From a report received from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Law Enforcement:

(Lakeville, Clunette)-Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating two separate hunting accidents which hospitalized the victims.

Jason Dudley (46) of South Bend and Joseph Morehead (60) of Milford sustained serious injuries when each hunter fell from their deer hunting tree stands.

Jason Dudley fell on 12/01/2012 at approximately 5:30pm. His hunting partner who is unnamed in the initial report, heard a crash from the direction Dudley was hunting. They were hunting approximately 150 yards apart. Dudley’s hunting companion climbed down and found Dudley lying at the base of his tree. Dudley fell approximately 15 feet.

Dudley’s friend called 911 and the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department and South Bend medics responded to the scene. Dudley was transported to Memorial Hospital in South Bend and treated for facial lacerations and right shoulder and back pain. Dudley was not wearing a safety harness.

Joseph Morehead’s accident occurred on 12/01/2012 at approximately 6:03pm. Morehead was also hunting with a partner approximately 50 yards apart when he fell while attempting to descend from the tree. Morehead was wearing a harness but it was not attached to the tree as he began his descent. Morehead used a tree branch as a hand hold as he was attempting to lower his foot to the metal foot pegs he was using when the branch broke.

Morehead had a shotgun slung on his right shoulder and a muzzleloader slung on his left shoulder as he fell 20’ to the ground. Morehead’s friend heard the crash and heard Morehead calling for help. His friend quickly went to his aid and called 911. The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, Atwood Fire Department and Multi-Township EMS responded to the scene.

Morehead was transported to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne and is being treated for a fractured pelvis, fractured ribs, fractured vertebrae, and a fracture arm.

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