Warning to drivers after deer killed in road collision

Deer crossing a road between Melton and Sutton

Deer crossing a road between Melton and Sutton

Drivers have been urged to “expect the unexpected” on rural roads after three deer were reportedly killed by a car in the Suffolk countryside.

A woman from Henley, near Ipswich, witnessed the collision with her husband and 15-year-old daughter on Saturday night near Debenham.

As the family stopped their car to admire the deer crossing a road in Framsden, another vehicle approached from the opposite direction, colliding with the animals.

“It was so unnecessary,” said the witness to the crash, who did not want to be named.

“We could see headlights in the distance on the opposite side of this straight road, so my husband repeatedly flashed his lights.

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“When the car hit them, they flew up into the windscreen. My husband jumped out of our car, checked two of the deer – one in a hedgerow and one in the road – they were dead. He picked the one in the road up and placed it on the verge. Sadly, the third limped off to die.

“This was not an accident caused by the deer running into a vehicles path – they were wandering along the middle of the road in full view.”

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Tim Woodward, regional surveyor for the Country Land and Business Association, said: “Drivers need to expect the unexpected when driving through or around woodland areas. Deer can appear as if out of nowhere and can either freeze in your headlights or panic and run across both lanes of traffic.

“Road users should pay attention for any signs warning of the dangers of deer on the road and slow down accordingly. If you see one stray into the road, it’s likely that it will be followed by a group.

“These can be large animals and hitting them at speed will not only damage your vehicle but also put your life in danger, together with the lives of your passengers and other road users.

“If a deer appears in your path, it’s best to not swerve in case you lose control and hit another car or go off road. Stick to your path and ensure your headlights are dipped. If you hit the animal, find a safe place to stop and report the incident to the Police via 101 – they can also ensure someone is called to deal with the deer if it is injured.

“Any accidents involving a deer and other road users should be reported immediately to the police by using 999.”

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