Owasso City Official Killed In Weekend Hunting Accident - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Owasso City Official Killed In Weekend Hunting Accident

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Eric Wiles was the director of Owasso's Community Development Department [file photo] Eric Wiles was the director of Owasso's Community Development Department [file photo]
On Monday, a single red rose was left on the desk of Eric Wiles. On Monday, a single red rose was left on the desk of Eric Wiles.

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

OWASSO, OK -- Owasso officials are mourning the death of a prominent city leader killed on a hunting trip. Owasso's community development director Eric Wiles died Saturday morning after being shot while hunting with friends and family.

In a news release from the city of Owasso, Wiles served the past 7 years as the head of the city's Community Development Department.

"Eric was a great public servant," said Rodney Ray, city manager. "He truly believed that public service was about removing obstacles standing in the way of people celebrating their lives and he worked every day of his adult life to live that credo."

Wiles guided the city of Owasso through the community's first update to Owasso's master plan, established Owasso's subdivision regulations and design criteria and completed the Parks master plan, according to the release.

"Eric built a foundation for those who would come after him, fully committed to making Owasso a world class city and his leadership in that effort will be missed," said Rodney Ray.

Wiles was on a hunting trip with three friends and family members at his father-in-law's property near Bixby. His father-in-law says they all had walkie-talkies, but there was confusion as to where everybody was located.

"This is one of those things where they took all the precautions, and it still didn't work," said Rodney Ray.

On Monday, a single red rose was left on the desk of Eric Wiles.

"He was honest and he was fair. His loss is being mourned today by 240 people in our city who worked with him every day," said Rodney Ray, City Manager.

His colleagues say he treated everyone equally.

"Whether you were a citizen looking for a swimming pool permit, or whether you were a business person looking at a $50 million investment, for Eric, didn't make any difference," said Rodney Ray.

Ray says hunters should be inspired by Eric's life, but learn the lesson that even being safe, is no guarantee.

"Take a lesson from that, and be very, very careful when you're out there," said Rodney Ray.

The muzzleloader hunting season ended Sunday and Wiles is not the only accidental shooting death during the nine-day season. A 44-year-old man was shot and killed while hunting in Latimer County.

10/26/2009   Related Story: Deer Hunter Shot, Killed In Latimer County

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