By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
A fund has been started at Cadence Bank in the name of the city building inspector who was injured in a hunting accident last month to help his family with medical bills.
Ken Honeycutt was hunting in Choctaw County with city code enforcement officer Jeff Lyles on Nov. 7. According to Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Public Information Director Jim Walker, Lyles shot at what he thought was the silhouette of a deer, but the bullet struck Honeycutt in the pelvis.
Lyles took Honeycutt to OCH Regional Medical Center, but he was later transported to University Medical Center in Jackson, where he has been for the last month.
“He’s doing a lot better than he was. It was really scary in the first week or so,” Rob Roberson, who has known Honeycutt for 14 years, said. “He has a tremendous recovery to go through, but the doctors weren’t sure he was going to live. We’ve already seen a miracle in that.”
Though Honeycutt’s survival was something of a miracle, he and his family still have medical bills and other expenses to cover as he continues recovering.
“They have some medical insurance, but the medical insurance is only going to pay 80 percent. It’s not just the 20 percent, but they’re going to still have to pay deductibles every year,” Roberson said. “Then there’s the reality of Ken not being able to work for however long. He’s going to have a tremendous amount of bills out there on top of the medical bills. There’s no way a family could handle it alone.”
Roberson, along with Ward 3 Alderman Eric Parker, decided to open an account at Cadence Bank in Honeycutt’s name to help with the overwhelming expenses. Those wishing to donate can do so at City Hall, any Cadence branch in Starkville or the Roberson Law Firm on Main Street.
“Ken has been a part of the community for years. Here in Starkville, we take care of our own,” Roberson said. “I know Ken would do this for anyone if he thought they needed it.”
Following the accident, city employees held a blood drive in Honeycutt’s honor, for which Roberson said he was very grateful. Parker said they would like to hold a fundraising event for the Honeycutt family, though it likely will wait until after the holidays.
“We’re still working on the details, but the money will go to straight to them to help with any expenses,” Parker said.
MDWFP investigators are looking into the incident to determine exactly what happened. Walker said it appears the men were hunting after hours, Lyles was using a rifle that was not of legal caliber for the season and charges are pending. It is unclear if both men or Lyles alone will face charges.