The life of a young North Carolina hunter has tragically ended in a weird manner when he was impaled on the barrel of his own rifle during a Saturday trip to Luka, Mississippi.
Justin Lee Smith, 17-year-old, was an avid hunter who joined his pals on a trip to the “very remote area” where he would later die.
According to Tishomingo County coroner Mack Wilemon, Smith was climbing a ladder when it lost balance and dropped him 10 feet down onto the barrel of his rifle that mortally wounded him.
“The ladder stand, he had it tethered to a thin pine tree and it twisted. It twisted and just spilled him.”
A dying Smith managed to call 911 on his phone shortly before succumbing to his injuries, which helped police to locate him.
Justin’s grandmother posted an emotional Facebook farewell to her grandson who loved hunting and fishing more than anything else.
“So catch some big ones till I see you again,” she wrote. “Love you grandmas boy I’m gonna miss you but I’ll never forget you.”
Smith’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help with his funeral expenses: “Thank you to anyone helping Jackie and Jamie with the funds for Justin’s funeral. It’s never easy to lose someone, but to lose them so young is devastating.”