WAYCROSS — A Kingsland woman was air lifted from Waycross to a Jacksonville hospital Wednesday after a freak accident in which a spent shell casing lodged in her face at a firing range near the Okefenokee Swamp, the Ware County sheriff said.
Twenty-one-year old Joseph Borkowski of Kingsland was firing at targets at the Dixon Memorial State Forest public range off the entrance road to Okefenokee Swamp Park when he heard screaming behind him, Sheriff Randy Royal told the Florida Times Union. Borkowski’s wife, Rhiannon, 21, was bleeding from the face.
Jospeh Borkowski had been firing a .308-caliber rifle which had ejected an empty shell casing that had struck his wife in the right cheek and penetrated a facial cavity, according to the report.
Ware County EMTs responded to the scene, gave Rhiannon Borkowski immediate treatment and then transported her by ambulance to the Georgia Forestry Commission complex off U.S. 1 south where a medical evacuation helicopter crew picked her up and flew her to University of Florida Health facility in Jacksonville.
Sheriff Royal reported to the Florida Times Union that he was told she had undergone surgery but no other information on her condition was available because of privacy laws.
“That was just a freak accident,’’ Royal said.
The secluded firing range is heavily used by Camden County hunters and others, he said. The incident is being investigated by his office and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, per the report.