Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting

MO: "Horseplay" While Bow Hunting Leads to Teen's Death

October 1, 2010

"Horseplay" While Bow Hunting Leads to Teen's Death

A fifteen year old boy is dead following a bow hunting excursion that turned deadly. Police in Byrnes Mill say the teen and a friend were horsing around with their bows, when an arrow accidentally fired, striking Ryan Sargent in the face. He died three hours later.

Sargent and his friend, twenty year old Jared Winters were in a wooded area not far from the trailer park where they live. Police say friends showed up to get Ryan, but Winters wanted to keep hunting.

"They started joking around with each other," Byrnes Mill Police Chief Ed Locke says. "They both pointed a bow at the other person. The victim here pointed the bow but didn't have an arrow notched in it. The suspect did have an arrow notched."

That arrow accidentally fired, and soon Ryan's aunt, Linda Nichols, was getting a call from the boy's sister.

"She told me he'd been hit in the face with an arrow and at first I thought it's only a flesh wound," Nichols says. But the news proved to be much worse.

"I'm still in shock. Seriously. I keep thinking I'm gonna see him. This isn't real yet," she says.

Police, meanwhile, were faced with arresting and charging Winters. They say there was clearly no intent to do harm, but there was a crime just the same.

"The negligence, the reckless behavior, pointing a loaded weapon at anybody," are reasons for the involuntary manslaughter charge according to Chief Locke. But he says that didn't make it easy.

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