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Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?

Lilly saves father after accident

October 12, 2011

By Tom Bone, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Jack Lilly is recovering at home in Bluefield, his son Jake said, after Jack tore up his leg in a tree stand accident while getting ready to hunt last Tuesday on Powell Mountain near Oakvale.

His father had been working on setting up his tree stand and was standing on a screw-in step when it “broke in two,” Jake said, and he began a fall of about 18 feet. “He didn’t have his safety harness on yet, because he didn’t have his tree stand up yet.”

When Jack Lilly was “about shoulder height” above the ground, Jake said, his leg got hooked on another step and he twisted and landed on his back.

“He bounced up and looked up and saw a piece of meat on the step,” Jake said. It was a chunk of flesh that had been torn from his leg.

“There was blood all over him,” Jake said. “He said blood was gushing about
3 feet out of his leg. That’s what worried him. As soon as he saw that, he started shedding clothes to make a tourniquet.”

He fashioned a simple device to restrict the flow of blood by cutting a strap off the tree strand and putting a stick in it, Jake said. Then his father started walking, getting about 100 to 150 yards from the site of the accident, “by himself, on one leg,” Jake said. “He was down under a hill. I don’t see how he did it.”

“He said by the time I got to him, the adrenaline was leaving. ... He wasn’t moving too good by the time I got to him.”

The femur, the main bone in the upper leg, was visible when hospital personnel were cleaning the wound, Jake said. “He ripped that muscle plumb in two, straight up the leg.”

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