Elkins teenager receives U.S. Attorney’s Award for Courage

WHEELING – An Elkins teen who lost his right leg just days prior to his 16th birthday was recognized for his courage and resilience in a special ceremony in Wheeling.

Tanner Boatwright was presented with the U.S. Attorney’s Award for Courage as a result of his response to the tragic hunting accident that occurred in November 2011.

The incident, which led to the conviction of a West Virginia man for being a felon in possession of a firearm, resulted in an injury to Boatwright and the loss of a limb that necessitates his use of a protestic limb.

Boatwright was honored for the bravery he has shown since it occurred, according to the release.

“Tanner stared trauma and tragedy in the face and didn’t blink,” U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld said. “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 he 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 for release this year and is based upon the best-selling book by John Green.

Tanner said he plans to become a prosthetic practitioner upon his completion of


Tanner’s father, Roger Boatwright, also was 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 Tanner was shot.