A sheriffs deputy has been hospitalized in what news agencies are calling a “freak hunting accident.” The deputy was driving along a road way when he was struck with buck shot fired by a friend, who was hunting deer.
According to News on the Neck, Timmy Johnson, a Tappahannock, Virginia police officer, was off-duty and hunting for deer. He fired four times at a deer using buckshot. He did not realize how close he was to the road.
At that same time Danny Marks Jr, an off-duty deputy and good friend of Timmy’s, was driving that very same road to join another hunting party. One of Johnson’s shots struck Marks’ F-150 and one of the pellets hit Marks in the head, causing him to crash his truck.
“It hit him right above his left ear, right along where his hat line was,” said Conservation Police Sergeant and Northern Neck District Supervisor Rich Goszka of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF). “[Marks] was just traveling along the road to join a separate hunting group. This was just very random.”
Marks was airlifted to a local hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, but according to friends and family he has a tough journy ahead of him.
Authorities are calling this a freak accident because of how well both men involved knew each other. In these types of accidents, the shooter and the victim are usually complete strangers with zero connection. Marks and Johnson are close friends, both having worked at one time at the Richmond County Sheriff’s office, the Tappahannock Police Department and have partnered together on multiple off-duty cooperative efforts.
Remember, that just because it was an accident does not mean you do not have consequences. Not only does Johnson have to live with the fact that he almost killed a good friend, but he also faces two misdemeanor charges: reckless handling of a firearm while hunting and shooting in or across a road or street.
Accidents like this should never happen. Always know where you are at and what is behind your target. No deer is worth injuring another person.