During the course of their daily responsibilities, emergency responders are not immune to the hazards they are called on to assist people with on a daily basis, and during the yearly rut, that includes increased danger of deer in the roadway.
In the course of searching for a wanted individual Wednesday night, Hempstead County Deputies were traveling south on Highway 278 near the Howard County line at around 11 p.m. when a buck ran out in front of Deputy Luke Sorensen’s patrol vehicle. Sorensen said the deer had cleared his lane when it doubled back in front of him. Sorensen’s patrol vehicle, a Dodge Durango, struck the buck, killing it instantly. The patrol vehicle sustained damage to the front left but was still able to be driven. Sorensen maintained control of the Durango and brought it to a stop. The Arkansas State Police were contacted and Trooper Jackson Dorman was dispatched to work the wreck since it involved a Sheriff’s Office vehicle.
Whitetail deer are involved in a large number of crashes each year, many resulting in serious injuries and death of drivers and passengers. October-December is the rut season for deer and, according to State Farm, the time of year you are most likely to get in a collisions with a deer. In it’s 2016 statistics, State Farm ranked Arkansas as a high risk state when it comes to collisions with deer. According to their statistics, 1 in 96 drivers in Arkansas had crashes involving deer, the 14th highest rate in the country.
State Farm recommends drivers take extra caution this time of year around dusk and dawn, since that is when deer are more active. They also recommend drivers slow down when approaching known deer crossings.