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May 6, 2010

Hunter Becomes Shooting Casualty, Traffic Crash Victim All in One Day

Having a bad day? Not likely anything that could compare to the misfortune that recently befell a Eureka, MO, on a trip to northeast Missouri.

Bobby L. Johnson, 54, was turkey hunting Thursday morning on public ground in Clark County when he was hit by shot from a shotgun round fired by another hunter.

After being treated at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Johnson was en route to University Hospital in Columbia via Scotland County Ambulance, when the emergency vehicle was involved in a traffic accident near the hospital.

Johnson was not injured in the crash, and was transferred to a Columbia ambulance for transport on to the hospital.

According to Randy Doman of the Hannibal office of the Missouri Department of Conservation, Johnson was shot at approximately 8:20 a.m. while hunting on Fox Valley Conservation Area west of Kahoka.

Johnson had set up a pair of turkey decoys, including a full-strut gobble decoy, and was sitting at the base of a tree approximately 20 yards from the fake birds.

A second hunter, Richard W. Meier, 66, of Pawnee, IL, was walking on the grounds, when he spotted the gobble decoy and mistook it for a real turkey.

Investigators indicated that Meier, entered the heavy brush adjacent to the logging road he was walking on, using the cover to move closer to the misidentified decoy before ultimately firing one shout from his shotgun from approximately 50 yards away.

The decoys were placed on a small crest, with both hunters hidden from each other on the down slope.

At least three pellets from the shotgun blast struck Johnson in the face and upper torso, leaving him with a serious injury to one eye.

The victim was able to walk from the accident scene back to where his hunting partner was located. They made contact with the shooter before agreeing to transfer Johnson by private vehicle to the hospital, while Meier waited at the scene for authorities.

After being treated at SCH in Memphis, Johnson was transferred by ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia.

En route to the facility the ambulance he was a passenger in was involved in a traffic crash at the intersection of Stadium Blvd. and Old Highway 63 in Columbia at approximately 1:07 p.m.

Captain Eric Hartman of the Columbia Fire Department stated that fire fighters arrived at the scene and found a black 2-door Honda in the roadway with heavy front-end damage and the Scotland County ambulance off the roadway, down the embankment on the north side of Stadium Blvd.

Hartman said fire crews discovered one female victim, the driver of the Honda, who was transported to Boone Hospital by ambulance with minor injuries.

The occupants of the ambulance were uninjured. An ambulance from Boone Hospital transported the gunshot patient to University Hospital along with the crew of the Scotland County ambulance.

At the time of the accident, the Scotland County ambulance had both their emergency warning lights and siren operating.

“Motorists are reminded to remain aware of your surroundings at all times when driving,” Hartman said. “If you observe an emergency vehicle of any type with their emergency lights and siren operating, you should immediately pull to the right side shoulder of the road and come to a stop until the emergency vehicle passes. If the road does not have a shoulder, pull to the right as far as you safely can and come to a stop. If you see the emergency vehicle entering an intersection, come to a complete stop until the vehicle passes through the intersection.”


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