A British mountain biker who was shot by a hunter in the French Alps Saturday afternoon died alongside the trail. Marc Sutton, 34 years of age, was riding down a popular track near the town of Montriond when struck by a single bullet. Reports claim that Sutton died instantly.
The 22-year-old shooter was transported to the hospital for shock symptoms following the incident. He was part of a seven-person hunt, organized by a local hunting organization. French police have launched an aggravated manslaughter investigation, which could carry jail time for the young hunter.
Sutton was reportedly wearing bright colors, riding a brightly-colored bike.
Marc Sutton lived in the French alpine ski village of Les Gets, roughly 1 hour from Geneva, Switzerland. He was a chef, running a private catering service, and had opened a health food restaurant called Wild Beets Kitchen, with his partner in early 2018. Sutton was part of a loving expat community and will be greatly missed.
According to the Guardian, “The accident came barely two weeks after another young hunter in the region was sentenced to a year in jail for involuntarily killing a trail runner with a single bullet to the head, prompting widespread calls for tighter restrictions to be imposed on hunting in areas popular with the public”.
The same Guardian article shared statistics from the French national hunting and wildlife agency saying “115 people were injured in hunting accidents in the year to 1 June 2018. Thirteen died of their injuries, including three people who were not involved in a hunt”. Hunting accidents have been a longstanding concern for residents in the area where Sutton was killed, and a number of groups have formed asking the local government to create substantial regulatory changes.
You can find more information on the incident here, and read comments from the local community on this Facebook page.
Scary sh!t. It’s more than a bit unnerving when you’re out on the trails and you see a hunter, especially with a weapon drawn. Some parks have designated hunting days where the park is closed to other users. To me, that’s certainly preferable than riding (unwittingly) through a hunting zone.
You read about these accidents every year! As someone who spent much of my youth and young adult days hunting with my father and granddad I still cannot fathom how this can happen without the hunter being a) blind or b) grossly negligent (hunting by sound), Know your surroundings and know your quarry!! Simply NO ‘effing excuse!!
Sounds like the poor cyclist didn’t know what hit him. With just one or two ounces of effort these accidents are completely avoidable.
Second major accident in the area…sounds like it’s time to rethink hunting there.