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Vermont Man Kills Himself After Fatally Shooting Friend in Deer Hunting Accident

A Vermont man took his own life Saturday after accidentally killing his friend in a deer hunting accident, police said.

Authorities said they believe 49-year-old Timothy Bolognani, of Readsboro, Vt., killed himself with a hunting rifle after accidentally shooting his friend, 39-year-old Benjamin Birch, while the two were hunting for deer Saturday morning, the Bennington Banner reported.

The two men were reportedly hunting in woods about a mile west of Howe Pond Road in Readsboro with another friend, identified as Mark Colford.

Police said that when they responded to the scene, they found Bolognani and Birch dead from gunshot wounds, according to the newspaper.

Investigators said Birch shot at a deer, which then ran through the woods. The three men tried to track the animal, police said, and at some point Bolognani fired his rifle.

Birch was heard crying out before Bolognani and Colford found him lying on the ground, where he later died, the newspaper reported.

Bolognani, the son of former state Rep. Betty Bolognani, then shot and killed himself with his own rifle, police said. No foul play is suspected.

"These guys were best friends and professional hunters," Birch’s mother, Jacqueline Clara Howe, told the Boston Herald. 

The hunting deaths were the second tragedy to hit the Bolognani family in the past two years.

Bolognani's 18-year-old daughter, Jessica, reportedly died in a snowmobile accident in Jan. 2010.

The teenager was struck by an oncoming snowmobile after falling from her own, according to the Burlington Free Press.

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