Thursday, December 02, 2004
By PRECIOUS PETTY
N. WHITEHALL TWP. -- State police are investigating whether a stray
bullet that seriously injured a pregnant woman outside her home Tuesday
afternoon was fired from a hunter's gun.
Casey Burns, 18, of the 1500 block of Clearview Road was listed
in critical condition Wednesday night at Lehigh Valley Hospital in
Salisbury Township, hospital officials said. She is seven months
pregnant with her first child.
Police and Burns' family members say she was sitting behind the
wheel of a vehicle in her driveway about 4:45 p.m. when a bullet
shattered the front driver's side window and struck her in the head.
"We've interviewed several hunters that were in the area at
the time," said state police Capt. Scott Snyder of Troop M
"Our investigation is not complete yet and we haven't come
to a definitive conclusion, but it seems likely that it was a stray
bullet from a hunter," he said.
Burns' home is surrounded by privately owned land that is suitable
for hunting, Snyder said. He did not say how many hunters police
interviewed in connection with the shooting, or whether any of them
had permission from the property owner to be there Tuesday.
Monday marked the first day of deer hunting season in Pennsylvania,
and Snyder said incidents involving stray bullets are common around
"Typically, every year during the first couple days of hunting
season there are incidents of rifle rounds that strike buildings
or cars," he said. "Certainly the one where the woman
was struck is a tragic set of circumstances."
If Burns' shooting proves to be the result of careless hunting,
it would be the second such incident in Lehigh County since deer
Brian Mack of Washington Township reported that rifle rounds passed
through three walls at his Mack Lane home about 7:30 a.m. Monday.
No one was hurt in that incident.
Snyder said potential charges for a hunter involved in an accidental
shooting vary depending on the result, and range from summary to
A message left for the Burns family on Wednesday night was not returned.
Reporter Precious Petty can be reached at 610-867-5000 or by e-mail
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