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Deer hunter killed in ATV crash in rural Edwardsville

October 2, 2011

By Brian Brueggemann, BND.com

The first day of archery deer season in Illinois resulted in a fatality when a rural Edwardsville hunter's all-terrain vehicle flipped at a creek crossing.

The accident claimed the life of Edward J. Schoonover, 68, of rural Edwardsville, an avid outdoorsman who was looking forward to the start of deer season, according to his daughter.

Madison County Sheriff's Capt. Brad Wells said Schoonover and his brother, 56-year-old John G. Schoonover of rural Edwardsville, finished hunting on family-owned property in unincorporated Edwardsville on Saturday evening and were returning from the woods. Edward Schoonover was driving an ATV, and his brother was seated behind him, riding as a passenger.

"As the men crossed a creek, the ATV flipped, throwing both men from the ATV," Wells said. "The driver of the ATV was fatally injured as a result of the accident. The passenger was not seriously injured and ran from the woods to summons help."

Police, firefighters and paramedics were dispatched about 7:45 p.m. to the area of the 1000 block of Hillsboro Avenue, near the scene of the accident.

Coroner Steve Nonn said the men were riding a Kawasaki Prairie 360.

"As they were attempting to ascend an embankment, the unit overturned and the decedent was pinned underneath the ATV," Nonn said.

A deputy coroner pronounced Edward Schoonover dead at the scene.

Edward Schoonover's daughter, Lisa Adams, said her father has been hunting for 40 years.

"He loved the outdoors, anything to do with the outdoors," Adams said. "He went fishing and hunting any time he could."

The state's archery deer season began Saturday and ends Jan. 16.

"He was very much looking forward to it," Adams said.

She said her father was a retired truck driver who enjoyed gardening and "loved spending time with his family and his granddaughter."

Funeral arrangements were pending Sunday at Weber Funeral Home in Edwardsville.

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