PARKER COUNTY, Texas—Charles C. Utley, 63, was killed in a head-on collision in Reno Sept. 14 after the driver of a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction reportedly swerved to avoid hitting deer.
The Springtown resident was southbound on Farm-to-Market Road 2257 when his vehicle was struck head-on by a northbound Ford Fusion driven by 19-year-old Alexander R. Waite, according to a local news report. Waite, also of Springtown, said he traveled into the southbound lane to avoid hitting deer that ran in front of his vehicle.
Utley was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Waite was not injured.
No additional information about the crash has been released by officials.
Commentary on fatal car accidents
About 200 people lose their lives annually in crashes involving large animals, as Charles Utley tragically did in this accident. My sincere condolences go out to his family and loved ones.
Estimated at more than 1 million accidents annually, wildlife-vehicle collisions involving large animals, particularly deer, are on the rise. This estimate is based on crash reports, highway carcass counts, insurance claims, and public interviews, and does not include crashes that go unreported. Data suggests that the total value of wildlife-vehicle collision damages is nearly $8.4 billion.
More than 90% of wildlife-vehicle collisions involving deer result in damage to the involved vehicle, while 100% of those involving moose or elk result in substantial vehicle damage.
Over 30 mitigation techniques have been implemented and studied to find the best ways to reduce the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions each year. Strategies include reducing wildlife populations, and installing wildlife fencing, overpasses, underpasses, detection devices, and habitat warning signs. Despite these efforts, wildlife-vehicle collisions continue to rise, largely because miles traveled increases each year and drive up risk exposure.
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Disclaimer: At Ammons Law, we are constantly seeking to improve the quality and safety of our roads and highways. We post these articles to help improve safety within our community. All of the information contained within this post was compiled from public sources or constitutes the opinion of the author. Please inform us immediately if you identify any false or misleading information.