Girl Injured In Hunting Accident

By Drew Hardman Staff Reporter

A Newton girl was hospitalized earlier this month for injuries sustained in a hunting accident.

Marie Cowger, a fourth-grader at Geary Elementary/Middle Scholl, was squirrel hunting when she accidentally discharged her bolt-action, .22 caliber rifle into her right foot.

"Me and the game warden think she was trying to cock or maybe un-cock it," Ernest Cowger, the girl's father, said. "It's a bolt-action - there's a little bolt to pull back.

"That was probably how it happened."

The accident occurred early on Saturday, Oct. 6, the opening day of squirrel season, at the Cowger family property on Uler Road. Marie had been hunting with an older brother.

Ernest immediately drove his daughter to the ambulance station in Newton.

"I know the roads around here a little better than they do," Ernest said.

Roane EMS personnel then transported Marie by ambulance to CAMC General Hospital in Charleston.

Lt. Tim Coleman, hunter safety coordinator for the W.Va. Division of Natural Resources, said Marie remained "awake and alert" for the duration of her trip to Charleston.

"She's tough; she barely even cried at all," Ernest remarked. "The ambulance guys said she was talking to them all the way there."

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