By Teresa Stepzinski, The Times-Union
A Jacksonville man died in an accidental shooting during a
weekend hunting trip with his older brother in northern Ware County.
Benjamin A. Crews, 22, sustained a gunshot wound to the neck from
a handgun about 12:10 a.m. Saturday at the brothers' hunting camp in
the Beach community, Capt. Peggy Guinn of the Ware County Sheriff's
Crews was found wounded in the front passenger seat of the truck
by his 27-year-old brother who had heard the gunshot, Guinn said.
The elder brother, whose name wasn't available from authorities,
took Crews to the nearest home in the 8800 block of Crawley Road to
get help, she said.
It was too late, however, and Crews died at the scene. An autopsy
will be performed today at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime
laboratory in Savannah, county Coroner Atha Lucas said.
A preliminary investigation revealed the pistol accidentally
discharged, Guinn and Lucas said.
The brothers regularly hunted in Ware County and had driven up
Friday afternoon for a weekend hunt.
They had a camper trailer set up near Beach, Sheriff's Office
Maj. Randy Royal said.
After returning to the camper for the evening, the brothers were
preparing to unload their hunting gear from the pickup truck, Royal
Crews was attempting to get out of the truck when the pistol
discharged striking him, Royal said.
It wasn't known if Crews had been holding the gun when it
discharged or if it fell from somewhere inside the vehicle then
fired, Guinn said.
Although no foul play is indicated, the death remains under
Georgia has averaged 73 hunting accidents including eight
fatalities each year since 1979, state Department of Natural
Resources records show.
Tree stand accidents and others resulting in self-inflicted
injuries account for 72 percent of the total.
About 38 percent involve shooting accidents, according to the
However, people are 20 times more likely to die in a traffic
accident than while hunting, U.S. National Safety Council statistics