A hunting trip took a terrible turn Saturday when a bear that had been shot by two soldiers fell from a ridge and struck one of the men.
Specialist William McCormick, 28, and Pfc. Zachary Tennyson, 19, were on a recreational hunting trip in the area of Carter Lake, Alaska, about 100 miles south of Anchorage, when the incident occurred, according to KTVA.
Dispatchers were reportedly notified of the accident through a beacon signal from a Garmin inReach satellite communication device.
The situation was dire by the time help arrived.
“The pair were hunting in the area and shot a bear above them on a ridge,” authorities told KTVA. “The bear rolled down the slope dislodging rocks in the process. [McCormick] was injured when he was struck by both a rock and the bear.”
With the help of Alaska state troopers and personnel from two fire departments, McCormick was carried to a helicopter to be medically evacuated, the report said.
From there, he was flown to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, where he has reportedly been listed as sustaining “life-threatening injuries.”
A spokesman from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game told KTVA that it was a black bear that had fallen from the ridge just above the two soldiers' position.
Tennyson was not hurt in the accident.
Army Times reached out to McCormick’s command, but no updates on his condition were available at the time.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.