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PA: Man gets probation in fatal hunting accident

March 5, 2010

Man gets probation in fatal hunting accident

BEAVER — Charles Smith recalled a time several years ago when his son Duane returned home from a fishing trip soaking wet. Turns out, Duane Smith had jumped into Raccoon Creek Lake to help a man and his daughters whose canoe had overturned.

“I really didn’t think I would get back to shore,” Duane Smith told his father, who reminded Duane that he had a little boy, Cameron, who depended on him. Duane’s response: “Dad, I had to do it. They needed help.”

Since Dec. 13, 2008, Cameron Smith has struggled to adjust to a world without his father. Duane Smith was killed when a single slug from a hunting rifle hit him in the head. Cameron Smith, then 9, wasn’t injured, though he had been sitting next to his father in a wooded area behind 192 Frankfort Springs Road in Hanover Township.

The man who fired that shot, Daniel G. Logan, recounted Friday that he heard Cameron scream just after he fired at a deer that had darted through the woods.

Logan ran nearly 200 feet, and said the sight of Duane Smith will haunt him for the rest of his life.

“It was nothing you should ever see in a million years,” Logan, 22, of 1740 Route 30, Findlay Township, said moments before Beaver County Judge Kim Tesla sentenced him to five years’ probation.

In January, Logan pleaded guilty to a single count of shooting at or causing death or injury to Smith, 35, of Frankfort Springs. Logan was charged under the state’s game laws because Smith’s death was considered a hunting accident.
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Logan said he wished he hadn’t pulled the trigger that day. He said he will never seek another hunting license.

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