FATAL GUN ACCIDENT.
On Sunday a melancholy accident occurred, which unfortunately resulted in the death of the sufferer, and quite a sadness has been cast over the neighborhood by the event. It appears that on Sunday morning Messrs. Purchase and George Bland, of this town, set out on horseback for Mrs. Bland's, Greeiistreet, intending to spend the Queen’s Birthday holiday there. For this purpose the two young men took with them a gun each, meaning to go duck shooting, as well as to take part in the pigeon shooting match at Mr. Tisch’s yesterday. On the way up the river, however (and they entered the bed of the river at the bridge), a stray shot or two presented themselves, and the guns were brought into use. It was found that the piece carried by Mr. Bland was choked in some way, and would not fire, so it was found necessary to shoot alternately with Mr. Purchase’s gun. About four miles upf the river, towards jGreenstreet, in a swamp of deep flax and tussock, two shots had been missed through Mr. Purchase having to put up his gun hammers after the birds had risen. At this time Mr. Purchase was on foot, Mr, Bland riding, and leading Mr. Pnrchase’s horse. Mr. Bland, annoyed at losing the shots, urged his companion to carry the piece at full cock, so that he might he ready for the next duck that might rise. The right barrel of the fowling piece was discharged at the first bird that rose after these hist r actions had been given by Bland, but the game was missed by Purchase, who then proceeded to re-load. Finding that
Mr. Purchase’s ammunition was in his groat coat behind the saddle of the led horse, Mr. Bland, who had his in his belt across his body, volunteered a charge from his pouch, to save undoing the straps on the led horse. The gun was carried in between the horses by Mr. Purchase, and Mr. Bland leant o ver and poured the ammunition from the belt into the fowling piece, Mr. Purchase meanwhile holding the gun. The led horse swerved a little, and threatened to close up on the other. Mr. Purchase, to avoid being crushed between the two beasts, and afraid of an accident with the gun while in that position, drew out suddenly from between the horses. In getting away he gave the gun a smart jerk towards him, to get it out of harm’s way, and somehow the trigger of the left hand barrel, which was still on full cock, got caught in his clothing, and the gun went off. Being so near to his companion, the full charge was lodged in the calf of Mr. Bland’s right leg. Mr. Purchase helped his friend to dismount, and laid him on the tussock, immediately thereafter starting off for aid. After a long run he met Mr. and Mi’s. Harris, and eventually other help was procured. On Mr. Purchase’s return he found Mr. Bland sitting up examining the wound. Mr. Purchase was away about an hour, and during this time the wound in Mr. Bland’s leg had been left unbound. Such extempore dressing as the circumstances permitted was given by those present to the wound, which was a deep and dangerous one, from which a considerable quantity of blood had been lost. A dray having been procured the young man was taken to Mr. Harris’s, in the neighborhood, and after a short time Dr. Stewart, who had been found by a messenger despatched for a medical man, arrived, and examined the sufferer, ordering his removal at once to Ashburton. This was accomplished, the doctor still in attendance, and Mr. Bland was brought into town about six o’clock, the accident having happened about four. He was conveyed to the house of Mrs. Dally, Wakanui Road, where the further aid of Drs. Trevor and Ross was obtained. Some hope of recovery was entertained for a time, though the medical men saw that the limb would have to bo amputated ; but at nine o’clock, or a few minutes after, die young man died, having gradually sunk from his arrival in the township. What makes matters worse is the fact that Mr. Bland’s mother is seriously ill, and the news of the accident will be a heavy blow to her. Mr. Bland, the deceased young man, was an assistant draper in the employ of Mr. Wm. Gavin, Ashburton, and Mr. Purchase is a well known hairdresser in East street.
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