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Man shoots self while driving on highway in Tennessee

By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE (Reuters) - A 23-year-old man faced possible criminal charges on Wednesday after he accidentally shot himself in both legs when he reached for his gun while driving on a highway in Tennessee, authorities said.

Police who responded to the man's 911 call for help found Justin Newberry "wailing in pain" and in need of immediate emergency attention, said Officer Jim Knoll, spokesman for the Clarksville Police Department.

The gun apparently slid out from under Newberry's seat when he hit the brakes on his Nissan Altima on Interstate 24, about 50 miles northwest of Nashville.

When he reached to retrieve the weapon, he accidentally grabbed it by the trigger and the gun went off, sending a slug through his right thigh and on to his left leg, just above the ankle.

Newberry pulled into the median and called emergency dispatchers. Police who answered the call also discovered marijuana and drug paraphernalia, as well as a variety of identification documents from different locations in the country, Knoll said.

The man was taken by LifeFlight to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where he was in stable condition. Knoll said charges were pending.

(Editing by James B. Kelleher and Cynthia Johnston)