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Madison County conservation enforcement officer injured after fall from tree stand

November 13, 2011

By Jeff Dute, Al.com

A Madison County, Alabama, conservation enforcement officer and decorated hero suffered internal injuries and multiple broken bones last week after falling nearly 30 feet from his tree stand.

Officer Joe Lindsey, 34, of Huntsville shot a doe with his bow late Monday afternoon south of New Hope, then unhooked his safety harness to climb down and recover the animal.

"That was his first mistake," said Lindsey's District 1 enforcement supervisor, Cpt. Johnny Johnson. "The next thing he remembers, he's lying on the ground in extreme pain."

Johnson said Lindsey, an eight-year veteran of the force and a hunter-safety education instructor, was able to crawl about 350 yards to his truck to retrieve his cell phone and call 911. Johnson said paramedics used the GPS feature on Lindsey's phone to locate him.

He was transported to a Huntsville hospital where he was treated for four cracked transverse vertebrae, up to eight broken ribs, a bruised sternum and a punctured lung. Lindsey was released from the hospital Wednesday and is expected to recover in six to eight weeks, Johnson said.

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