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PA: Rescue crews go deep in woodsto reach hunter who fell from tree

October 18, 2009

Rescue crews go deep in woods to reach hunter who fell from tree

MOUNT CARMEL TOWNSHIP - A Kulpmont man who suffered injuries when he fell over 20 feet from a tree stand while hunting was brought from the deep back woods of Mount Carmel Township late Saturday morning through the combined efforts of township firefighters, police and emergency crews.

Andrew Zakrzewski, in his early 40s, was taken to Gesinger Medical Center, Danville for treatment of a fractured left leg and several minor injuries. It took rescue crews more than an hour to bring the injured hunter back to an access road several hundred yards from the scene of the accident.

Police said Zakrzewski of 720 Spruce Street, Kulpmont, was hunting deer with a friend, Jim Hutnik, also of Kulpmont, in an area known as the Richards tract, about one mile off the east side of Route 54 between Strong and Natalie. The victim was on the platform of a tree stand when it gave way under his weight, Hutnik said.

Hutnik immediately notified emergency officials but the area where the accident occurred could be accessed only through thick woods and across a creek channel. In order to assist crews in locating the area, Hutnik used his cell phone to call a friend Dave Bozza, Sr. of Marion Heights, who was shopping in Hazleton at the time. Bozza in turn called his son, Dave Jr., and an uncle Dale Kreisher, all of whom were familiar with the area. Together they were able to lead emergency crews to the scene and assist in the removal of Zakzrzewski.

Mount Carmel Township police and the Pennsylvania Game Commission said they will conduct an investigation.

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