CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — A 15-year-old West Virginia boy was killed when he was struck in the head while playing a game of “dodging arrows,” authorities said Monday.
West Virginia State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous said Caleb Fairchild was playing the bow-and-arrow game Saturday evening in Chapmanville when he was hit by an arrow.
No parents were around when Fairchild and two other minors were playing in the front yard of a home, said State Police Sgt. C.R. Sutphin in Danville.
The motivation behind the game wasn’t immediately clear.
“I’ve been a policeman for almost 25 years. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of it,” Sutphin said. “They were just goofing around, thought it was a good idea. It’s just a bad decision, if you ask me.”
Baylous said Fairchild was taken to Logan Regional Medical Center, and then to Charleston Area Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
“I’ve heard of kids doing similar stunts through the years,” Baylous said. “This is the first one I’m aware of in West Virginia. It’s just kids making poor choices.”
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Sutphin said the Boone County prosecutor’s office is being consulted in the investigation.
“Once we get everything together, we’re going to present it to them for a possible negligent homicide charge,” Sutphin said.
Chapmanville Middle School, where the teen attended classes, had grief counselors on hand Monday to help students cope with the loss. Chapmanville Middle School Principal Rob Dial didn’t immediately return a telephone message Monday.