2 injured in separate accidental gun shootings in Lewis County

CHEHALIS, Wash. -- A hiker and a hunter were both injured in separate accidental gun shootings in Lewis County over the weekend, the sheriff's office said.

The first incident happened Sunday morning as a 27-year-old hiker was going up a trail with friends near Highway 12 outside of Morton. Investigators say the hiker's coat got caught on a branch and somehow caused his .357 rifle to fire, striking him in the right foot.

The group was able to hike back to their car and drive the victim to Morton General Hospital for treatment.

About an hour later, a 53-year-old hunter was at his camp near Mossyrock preparing to test fire his .22 caliber pistol when he heard a sound. As the turned to investigate, he slipped on a rock and dropped his gun, investigators said. The gun went off, striking the hunter in the leg.

The hunter was able to call 911 for help and medics also took him to Morton General Hospital for treatment.

"These are two very fortunate men -- the outcome of both of these situations could have resulted in even more serious injuries or possibly death," said Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield. "These incidents are a good reminder to follow the basics of gun handling and safety."