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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of West Virginia

Monday, May 12, 2014

Elkins Teen Wins U.S. Attorney Award For Courage

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Chris Zumpetta-Parr, Public Affairs Specialist

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – An Elkins teen who lost his right leg just days
prior to his sixteenth birthday was recognized for his courage and resilience in a special ceremony held in Wheeling.

Tanner Boatwright was presented with the United States Attorney’s Award for Courage as a result of his response to the tragic hunting accident that occurred in November of 2011. The incident, which led to the conviction of a West Virginia man for being a felon in possession of a firearm, led to Boatwright receiving a prosthetic leg. Boatwright was honored for the bravery he has shown since it occurred.

“Tanner stared trauma and tragedy in the face and didn’t blink,” said U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld. “He could have curled up into a ball, stayed in his room, and never come out, and no one would have questioned it. But instead has embraced this change in his life, and he now does things that he never would have done before the incident.”

Boatwright now hunts and fishes, drives without restrictions, snowboards, swims, and rock climbs. He won four gold medals at the Endeavor Games in Oklahoma, and recently worked on the Twentieth Century Fox movie "The Fault in Our Stars." The movie is scheduled to come out later this year and is based upon the best-selling book by John Green.

Tanner plans to become a prosthetic practitioner upon his completion of college.

Tanner’s father, Roger Boatwright, was also recognized during this week’s ceremony. Ihlenfeld presented Roger Boatwright with a special award for his efforts to save his son’s life on the night that Tanner was shot.

The individuals included in the photo are U. S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II; Susie Boatwright; Roger Boatwright; and Tanner Boatwright.

Updated January 7, 2015