MARIETTA - A Lower Salem youth was listed in stable condition at Grant Memorial Hospital in Columbus on Sunday after a muzzleloader rifle exploded in his face while deer hunting Saturday evening.
Dominick Ryan Oliver, 16, of 7765 Dalzell Road, was hunting along Liberty Ridge Road around 7:30 p.m. Saturday when his rifle exploded, causing serious injuries to his right eye and hand, according to a report from Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.
The exact location of the explosion has not been determined, but Mincks said it appeared the rifle blew up while Oliver was inside a pickup truck. The incident occurred near the home of Benjamin A. Miller, 33, of 31229 Liberty Ridge Road, who transported Oliver to his mother's home on Dalzell Road, Mincks said.
The 16-year-old was then driven by his mother and brother to the intersection of Dalzell and Stanleyville roads where they were met by a squad from the Salem Township Volunteer Fire Department that transported Oliver to Marietta Memorial Hospital.
He was later flown by medevac helicopter to Grant Memorial in Columbus.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office is assisting the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in the investigation of the incident, Mincks said.