What was supposed to be a quick hunting trip turned tragic when a Forsyth County man died and his son was injured when the two fell from a tree stand.
Emergency crews were called to a wooded area along Old Atlanta Road, near Suwanee, shortly after 5 p.m. Monday, Chief Jason Shivers with the Forsyth County fire department said. But the two were in a remote area of woods, delaying the rescue efforts initially, Shivers said.
“It took us some time to make access to them and find them,” Shivers told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was dark in the woods by the time we made access to them.”
Firefighters were able to locate the father and son by a cell phone signal, Shivers said. The son, a teenager, heard the searchers and was able to lead rescuers to his father, a family friend said Tuesday.
CPR was started, but Jeffery Lane McBryant, 44, of Cumming, was pronounced dead at the scene. McBryant’s son, Elijah, was transported to Northside Hospital-Forsyth with non-life threatening injuries, Shivers said.
Investigators estimate the two fell between 15 and 20 feet to the ground.
Relynda Barrett said her family has known the McBryants for several years through their Cumming church, where she last saw the father of two Sunday. McBryant was very involved at Abundant Life Church, along with his wife, Lisa, and the couple’s children, Barrett said.
“He was a door holder, a pillar in our church,” Barrett told the AJC by phone Tuesday night. “He was just a great dad. A great man.”
Now, friends and family members are mourning the loss of a man known for his love of his own family, hunting and the Georgia Bulldogs. McBryant’s 15-year-old son was transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where he underwent surgery Tuesday night, Barrett said.
A memorial fund has been set up for the McBryant family. Anyone wishing to assist the family with costs is asked to contact the church at 770-844-5762 or visit a Facebook page titled Jeff McBryant Memorial Fund.
In addition to his wife and son, McBryant is also survived by a daughter, Carly Beth.