ST. MATTHEWS — A hunter died Monday afternoon when his shotgun accidentally discharged while he was on the phone with his fiance.
The accident occurred as David Young was walking on Stiffmire Road near St. Matthews, authorities say. He was apparently retrieving his shotgun while talking to his fiancee when the cellphone went silent.
His fiancee “could not get any response from him on the cellphone and she alerted authorities to the location,” Calhoun County Coroner Donnie Porth said.
The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office responded, Porth said. They found the 59-year-old Gaston man, “with no signs of life and with an apparent gunshot wound to the chest.”
Porth said it appears Young was by himself and that the gun may have accidentally discharged.
He said he has seen a number of hunting accidents in his 16 years as coroner. This, however, is his first case where the fatal accident occurred while the deceased was on a phone.
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S.C. Department of Natural Resources spokesman Robert McCullough said the investigation is ongoing, but it appears Young tripped and fell, suffering a shotgun blast to the chest.
McCullough advises hunters to always make sure their guns are pointed in a safe direction and that the safety is on.
“Always treat a gun like it’s loaded. Always treat a gun like it can hurt you,” he said.