Stevenage teenager lucky to be alive after horror crossbow accident

A TEENAGER has told how he is lucky to be alive after a crossbow bolt accidentally fired into his face.

Lewis Tavernier, of Archer Road, Stevenage, was sitting in a friend’s room organising a holiday when an eight-inch bolt flew into his cheek.

The 17-year-old said he and two friends were about to shoot at targets in the garden and had left the crossbow – with a bolt loaded – on a desk with the safety on.

“It just went off – I didn’t really feel it go in as it was so quick and powerful,” said Lewis, who is a sixth form student at Marriotts School in the town.

“I said ‘mate, is there an arrow in my face?’ I wasn’t in much pain but I couldn’t believe what had happened, it was so unreal.”

Lewis was immediately taken to Lister Hospital where he underwent surgery, later learning that the bolt had been lodged around three inches into his face, puncturing a muscle and fracturing his cheekbone in the process.

“I went into hospital on the Friday night and by Saturday I was back home,” said Lewis.

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“It was just a whirlwind. If it was any lower I wouldn’t have been able to talk again and if it was 2mm higher I wouldn’t be alive. I was very lucky.”

“It aches every now and again but I don’t really notice it. At first I couldn’t open my mouth that much but after that it has been the same as normal,” he said.

A semi-professional magician, Lewis added: “I tend to do close-up magic, so things like cards, coins and rope tricks. I’ll definitely be staying away from any mediaeval weaponry for my act.”