Clarence “Daven” Gasaway, 15, was hunting deer when part of his deer stand broke causing him to fall backwards and become stuck upside down in the remaining foot platform of his stand, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
The incident happened around 10:45 a.m. Saturday on the Tri County Fish and Wildlife Area in Kosciusko County.
According to the DNR release, Gasaway was hunting with his friend, Scott Wharton, in trees 24 feet off the ground and approximately 15 yards apart. Gasaway began to descend when the top portion of his climber tree stand broke causing him to be thrown backwards. He was not wearing a safety restraint harness.
A nearby deer hunter dialed 911 and Indiana Conservation Officers Jon Cook and Jon Engle responded to the scene along with North Webster Fire and EMS and the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department. Gasaway was able to communicate to the officers he had been upside down for approximately 30 minutes. The officers had Wharton raise a rescue rope through and across his stand then to Gasaway, who secured it around his body and under his arms in case the foot platform broke. It prevented the teen from falling head first some 24 feet to the ground.
Fire personnel arrived and raised a ladder to the tree which conservation officers secured to the tree with more rope preventing the ladder from falling in the rescue efforts.
Fireman lowered Gasaway feet first to the ladder and then to the ground where an ambulance was waiting. He was transported to Kosciusko County Hospital for a lower left leg and ankle sprain and released.
Elkhart County police responded recently to the following vehicle crashes:
• Ricky Phillips, 32, Dowagiac, Mich., was driving eastbound on Ind. 120, west of C.R. 17 at 11:59 p.m. Friday. According to police, Phillips said the brakes failed on his 1986 Honda Magnum and he lost control of the vehicle, leaving the roadway, colliding with a guard rail and throwing Phillips from the car. He was transported to Elkhart General Hospital and treated for a possible broken ankle, wrist and back pain. Charges are pending for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, driving with a suspended driver’s license, false registration and no insurance.
• Brian Maust, 59, Goshen, was driving southbound on C.R. 37, nearing C.R. 36, and collided with a vehicle driven by Jeremy Yoder, 27, Topeka, who was eastbound on C.R. 36, approaching C.R. 37 at 11:41 a.m. Saturday. According to Elkhart County police, Maust failed to stop at the stop sign for C.R. 37 southbound traffic and entered the intersection in front of Yoder.
The front driver side of Yoder’s 2004 Ford F-150 struck the passenger side of Maust’s 2002 Honda CR-V. Maust was transported to IU Health Goshen Hospital for treatment of neck pain and cited for failure to yield right of way at an intersection.