MURRIETA, Calif. — Murrietta Fire Chief Matt Shobert was severely injured Wednesday morning when he was hit in the face by rock thrown from a brush-clearing machine.
Chief Shorbert was flown to the hospital where he underwent the first of what may be several reconstructive surgeries.
According to the Press Enterprise, Chief Shorbert radioed that he'd been shot, not realizing it was a rock that hit him. First-arriving paramedics also thought Chief Shorbert had been shot.
"It was awful," fire department spokesman Matt Corelli told the paper. "It's such a freak accident. I can't even believe it."
The crew clearing the brush requested the fire department check the site conditions so as to not set off a wildland fire.
He has been chief of Murrieta since 2011. Prior to that, he was chief in Hemet, Calif.