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Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2005

HUBBARDSTON TEENAGER, SHOT WHILE RABBIT HUNTING, IN SERIOUS CONDITION

By Elisabeth Waldon - Daily News staff writer

3/17/05

HUBBARDSTON -- A 16-year-old Hubbardston boy was shot Tuesday while rabbit hunting with two friends near Fish Creek west of Hubbardston.

At about 5:15 p.m., Dan Litwiller was hit with pellets fired from a 12-gauge shotgun while hunting with two teenage brothers from Hubbardston on property along the creek on a private stretch of Pleasant Street west of Hubbardston, according to Ionia County Sheriff's Det. Cary Foster.

He said Litwiller was shot from behind at a range of 15 to 20 feet and was hit in the right side of his back.

"It's looking like it was accidental," Foster said. "The shooter had shot at a rabbit and missed and the other two boys were walking back to the house.

The shooter was trying to catch up with the other two when the gun went off."

He said Litwiller was transported by AeroMed to Spectrum Health System's Butterworth Campus in Grand Rapids. Foster said the Ionia County Sheriff's Department, Life Emergency Medical Services of Ionia and the Hubbardston Fire Department assisted.

Litwiller then was transported to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. Sparrow Hospital Spokesman John Lux said he was unsure how and why Litwiller was transported.

Litwiller is a sophomore at Carson City-Crystal High School. His mother, Brenda Shie, said her son underwent 10 hours of surgery Wednesday at Sparrow Hospital to repair a split artery. She said he is currently in the intensive care unit there, where he was listed in serious condition this morning, according to Lux.

"He's a hunter," Shie said. "He loves hunting. His dad (Daniel Litwiller) was shot a few years ago so I guess he thought he had to be like his dad."

Foster said it's too early to say if charges will be filed against the shooter.

Staff writer Elisabeth Waldon can be reached at ewaldon@staffordgroup.com  or (616) 754-9303 ext. 3065.

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