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Viola teacher injured in fall from tree stand

November 26, 2011

By Richard Irby, AreaWideNews.com

A Viola High School teacher is recovering at St. John's Hospital in Springfield after being injured in a deer hunting accident.

Larry Luther, 57, was climbing down from a tree stand on his farm on Thursday, Nov. 17, when a step nailed into the tree came loose, causing Luther to fall to the ground.

"I had just come down from the tree when he fell," Justin Luther, Larry's son, told The News. "Dad fell 34 feet and hit two limbs on the way down."

According to Justin, his father was conscious but obviously injured in the fall, so he obtained help getting his father in a truck and out to a county road.

Luther was air flighted to Mountain Home where, after being evaluated, he was transferred to St. John's in Springfield.

"He has a broken pelvis, a fractured hip and three broken ribs," said Justin. "He has been in a lot of pain when they have to move him, but he is alert and talkative and he should start improving after they do surgery."

The surgery was scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Luther has been a Viola teacher for about 10 years, teaching history and driver's education.

"He loves the kids and the people he works with," Justin said. "Everyone has been very good to him since the accident. Our family really appreciates all the calls, visits and prayers he has received. The support has been overwhelming."

Luther's wife, Pat, has been with him in Springfield.

National statistics show falls from tree stands are the number one cause of hunting accidents, responsible for up to 60 percent of all reported injuries. Most falls result in broken bones, internal injuries and other serious injuries requiring surgery.

The Tree Stand Manufacturers Association says professionally built and installed tree stands should be reducing the number of falls, but most hunters will not wear body harnesses that will keep them safe even if they fall.

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