By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A California man was killed in a hunting accident last week near Ten Sleep, the Washakie County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday.
According to the department, law enforcement officials in Washakie County were alerted to the report of a hunting accident on Oct. 6 off the top of Smilo/Sand Draw Road, east of Ten Sleep.
The report indicated a man had been accidentally shot with a hunting rifle.
Ambulances could not travel up the road due to adverse conditions, so private vehicles and a sheriff’s unit transported emergency medical staff to the Cabin Spring area, where units proceeded to the scene on foot.
The reporting party used cell phone contact with Worland dispatchers and handgun shots to steer units to the scene.
A helicopter life flight was launched to the area.
At the scene, medical personnel conducted triage and stabilized the victim for transport. The man was taken to the hospital in Worland for further treatment.
The victim was identified as 63-year-old Californian Ron Blank, who was elk hunting with his son, Dan Blank.
The pair were traveling back to their pickup truck and climbing up a ridge. They encountered a rock face and climbed over it. While handing rifles up to his son so he could climb the rock face, the rifle discharged and Ron Blank was struck in the upper right chest area.
His son rendered immediate first aid and then called for assistance.
Ron Blank passed away at the hospital in Worland due to massive internal trauma and a loss of blood. The family has been notified and arrangements have been made to transport his body back to California.
Th case is still under investigation by the Washakie County Sheriff’s Office and the Washakie County Coroner’s Office.