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Safe Hunting?

Erie Teen Dies in Hunting Accident

By Michele Scott, Herald Staff Writer

December 15, 2003

ERIE, Ill. - A 15-year-old Erie boy was killed while hunting Saturday when he apparently accidentally shot himself.

David Ian Edwards died at Hammond Henry Hospital in Geneseo after he was shot around 8:38 a.m. while hunting rabbits and pheasant at the Big Bend Wildlife area near Erie.

Edwards was transported to Hammond Henry Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. A Henry County Coroner's inquest is pending.

"It is a real unfortunate situation," Larry Van Dyke, Whiteside County chief deputy officer, said today. "It shouldn't have happened."

Van Dyke said officers do not yet know all the circumstances surrounding the death, but do know the barrel of the teen's gun was pointed toward him when it discharged.

The mood at Erie High School was subdued and quiet today, according to Cindy Saade, school secretary. Edwards was a sophomore at the school.

"Counselors will be here all day for the students," she said. "The teachers are aware and students will be allowed to leave class to see a counselor if they would like to."

The case remains under investigation. Illinois Conservation Police and Erie Ambulance assisted the Whiteside County Sheriff Deputies at the scene.

Van Dyke recommends all hunters take a Department of Natural Resources Hunters Safety Class - a 10-hour course that teaches gun safety, conservation laws and hunter ethics.

Hunting clubs such as Morrison Sportsman's Club, Tri-County and Coleta Sportsman Clubs also offer hunter safety classes, Van Dyke said.

"And always go out with experienced hunters," he said.

A full death notice is published on page 11A of today's Clinton Herald.

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