A Jefferson County man died of an apparent accidental gunshot wound Thursday afternoon when a handgun fired while he was removing items from his truck at a Drew County deer camp.

Thomas J. Burton, 68, of White Hall, was unloading items from the cab of his pickup truck at a deer camp on Mamie Martin Road near the Ashley and Drew County line when a 357 handgun accidentally discharged striking Burton in the torso and severing a major artery, according to a news release from Drew County Sheriff Mark Gober.

Burton told family and friends that the gun accidentally fired.

While on the way to the scene of the accident, Gober and deputies met a truck transporting Burton to the hospital. Deputies got Burton situated and held pressure on the wound to reduce the bleeding until an ambulance arrived to transfer him to Drew Memorial Hospital where he later died, Gober said.

“This is a very unfortunate accident and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Burton family during the loss of their grandfather,” Gober said.