Matt Branch, former LSU Tigers offensive lineman, loses leg in hunting accident

  • Matt Branch, former LSU Tigers offensive lineman, loses leg in hunting accident

Matt Branch, former LSU Tigers offensive lineman, loses leg in hunting accident

'At approximately 9:40 a.m., David Joe, David, Matt and I were all standing around the bed of the [Polaris] Ranger and Matt had laid his gun down flat in the bed of the Ranger and walked around on the passenger side to finish loading up, ' Heckford told the Clarion Ledger.

'I think that's when it hit me how serious it was, ' Heckford said.

Heckford said Branch's trousers were "soaked in blood" but the group was able to transport him to a road accessible to first responders. 'I was at the tailgate no more than 4 feet away from him'.

Branch was struck by a shotgun blast when a dog who was with his group jumped into the back of their Ford Ranger and stepped on the weapon's safety, setting it to fire mode, while also managing to pull the trigger.

"I would like to encourage everyone that reads this to take the time to not only double check themselves going forward, but take the time to double check everyone else you're hunting with as well".

A three-year player for LSU from 2009 to 2011, Branch had his football career end after his junior season due to a number of injuries.

Heckford, for his part, is now rethinking gun safety after the startling shooting. "It was at that point in time I realized how much he had bled". When first responders cut open his pant leg, it was filled with blood from where the bullet entered his leg.

Branch, who'll turn 30 on March 1, was taken to a medical facility in Vicksburg and later transferred to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

A former LSU offensive lineman and father to a 1-year-old son, Branch-in stable condition at a Jackson hospital-has since undergone "multiple critical surgeries including the partial amputation of his left leg and re-connecting his femoral artery in his left upper leg", Heckford writes in a viral Facebook post, meant to remind even the most experienced hunters about the importance of gun safety. The opportunities for an accident are there and we just don't realise it.

A GoFundMe page has raised more than $70,000 for Branch's recovery.

A GoFundMe campaign set up to assist with the costs of his medical care revealed that Branch suffered "damage to his femoral artery as well as other vital vascular and muscle tissue". 'We think we're being safe, but are we?