Story written by
Pictures contributed by Chris Holmes
Published August 2008
Associated Press -- Oct. 14, 2001
BURLINGTON, Vermont -- An Underhill man shot in the back of
the head with an arrow while bow hunting is recovering
slowly, according to his family members.
Surgeons spent three hours
removing the arrow.
Ron Derouchie, 24, was recovering at home Friday, Oct. 12,
after his brother, Brian, 22, fired an arrow into the back
of his head. The arrow penetrated Ron Derouchie's skull and
pierced his brain, stepmother Wendy Derouchie said.
family is worried about whether the arrow caused lasting
vision damage. Ron Derouchie is having trouble sleeping and not feeling
well, but his eventual outlook is good, she said.
"He has a lot of headaches," Wendy Derouchie said. "He gets
The brothers were hunting deer at about
5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Underhill when the incident occurred, said Lt.
Robert Rooks, acting chief of law enforcement for the Fish and
Police are treating the incident as
When Ron Derouchie shot, he bumped his brother, who had
drawn his arrow back and was preparing to release it, Rooks
said. The bump caused Brian Derouchie to swivel as he was
shooting, and the arrow hit Ron Derouchie in the back of his
head, Rooks said.
The fact that the brothers were standing
close together prevented the accident from being worse,
Rooks said. "The arrow wasn't able to gain the
same momentum that it would
have if it had actually been released," he said.
Ron Derouchie remained conscious and walked from the woods
with his brother, who was more than
slightly shaken by the incident, Wendy Derouchie said.
"As they came out of the woods, Ron was
walking around with an arrow in back of
his as he calmed his brother Brian down," she said.
Arrow Head Story
May 1, 1993
Doctors at Portland's University Hospital
said Wednesday an Oregon man shot through the skull by a hunting
arrow is lucky to be alive, and will be released soon from the
hospital. Tony Roberts, 25, lost his right eye last weekend during
an initiation into a men's rafting club
Mountain Men Anonymous,
in Grants Pass, Ore.
A friend tried to shoot a beer can off his head, but the arrow
entered Roberts' right eye. Doctors said had the arrow gone 1
millimeter to the left, a major blood vessel would have been cut and
Roberts would have died instantly.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Johnny Delashaw at the University Hospital in
Portland said the arrow went through 8 to 10 inches of brain, with
the tip protruding at the rear of his skill, yet somehow managed to
miss all major blood vessels. Delashaw also said had Robert tried to
pull the arrow out on his own.
Roberts admitted afterwards he and his friends had been drinking
Said Roberts, "I feel so dumb about this."
No charges have been filed but the Josephine County district
attorney's office said the initiation stunt is under investigation.
A later report added
Both Roberts and his
buddy had been drinking before the archer aimed his bow at a
gallon can balanced on his pal's head. The arrow's tip
penetrated 10 inches into Roberts' brain, slicing through soft
facial tissue. The arrow stopped a fraction of an inch
away from major blood vessels.
Although Roberts survived, he lost his right eye. During the
helicopter ride to the hospital, Roberts fearlessly attempted to
actually pull the arrow out of his head with his bare hands.
Thank goodness the paramedics on the flight were able to pin his
Otherwise he surely would have killed himself!
Doctors later drilled a large hole around the arrow's tip at the
back of his skull, then pulled the arrow through.
Archer's Note: For you skeptics, this story is not fictitious.
Due to the absolute stupidity of the stunt plus
Roberts' insane attempt to pull the arrow back out himself - a move
that probably would have killed him - this incident has been
immortalized as one of the most famous stories in the long and
dubious history of the Internet Darwin Awards.