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Paralyzed after falling from tree, Indiana deer hunter opts to end life

Posted at 11:32 AM, Nov 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-07 11:32:19-05

(CNN) — An Indiana deer hunter left paralyzed after falling from a tree died after he decided to remove himself from life support, state authorities said Wednesday.

Timothy E. Bowers, 32, of Decatur was hunting deer Saturday afternoon when he fell about 16 feet to the ground from an elevated tree stand, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said.

Bowers suffered a spine injury and paralysis, authorities said.

On Sunday, “Bowers self-elected to remove himself from life support systems and died” that evening, the department’s statement said.

Bowers was a newlywed, having married Abbey Logan on August 3, the Haggard-Sefton & Hirschy Funeral Home of Decatur said on its website. The funeral home said memorials could go to the couple’s Baby Bowers Education Fund.

His widow is expecting a baby, said one acquaintance on the funeral home’s website.

“To the entire family so sorry for you loss,” wrote Dean Dubach. “Tim was a good person. I just talked to him in the grain line. He said he was so happy with life, beautiful wife, baby on the way, business was good, crops were good. God bless the family.”

Bowers also owned and ran 5 Points Transmission shop in Decatur, the funeral home said.

His tragic decision to end his life prompted many comments on social media.

“Tim was a great guy,” Aaron Cowans wrote on Facebook. “… always took the time out to help a customer in need … I’m guilty of not wearing my safety belt and I hope everyone can take sum thing good away from this. prayers to all his family and friends as he was well known and liked. … r.i.p. Tim!”

State conservation officers urge hunters to always wear a safety harness when climbing up or down tree stands and to use a haul line to raise equipment up and down.

This year, Indiana has seen a total of seven tree-stand falls, said conservation officer Lt. William Browne.

In 2012, the state recorded 28 such falls, including one fatality. In 2011, 22 falls occurred, Browne said.