Richard Burgess, 56, South Bend, went hunting for deer around 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29 near his home on Portage Road in South Bend. Burgess said his stand, which had been in the tree for several years, broke around five thirty. He was on the ground in pain for over an hour.
Burgess had multiple broken bones and other serious injuries. When he did not come home, his wife became worried and found him lying on the ground below his tree stand calling for help around 7 p.m. this evening. Burgess was transported to Memorial Hospital by South Bend Fire Department assisted by Clay Township Fire Department.
Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating the incident. It appeared that a link in the chain that was holding the tree stand up had broken sending Burgess approximately twelve feet to the ground. He was not wearing a fall arrest system or safety harness.
Falls from tree stands are Indiana’s number one cause of death while hunting. Please remember to wear your safety harness anytime you hunt from an elevated position.