Posted on Sat, Jan. 25, 2003
Disabled hunter dies after truck fire

BASIN - A handicapped hunter died Friday after becoming trapped in his burning truck a day earlier, authorities said.

Mack Arthur Buckley, 59, drove his truck into a field to go hunting behind his home at 136 Ferril Road, said Ann Eubanks, coordinator for the Lucedale Volunteer Fire Department. The truck got stuck Thursday afternoon.

Buckley was maneuvering the truck when heat from his muffler ignited a fire, which engulfed the vehicle. Eubanks said Buckley, who was a paraplegic, couldn't get out of his truck and suffered severe burns.

"More than 60 percent of his lower body was burned," Eubanks said. "He was able to get his chest out of the truck, but due to him being handicapped, he couldn't get all the way out."

He was transported to the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile, where he underwent surgery. He died early Friday morning.

Eubanks said there were two shotguns inside Buckley's truck but said it appeared he was hunting alone.

M.T. Parker, an investigator with the Mississippi State Forestry Commission, said about eight acres of land burned during the fire.