Rescuers horrifed as car runs over injured deer in front of them

Volunteers rescuers were reduced to tears Saturday night on the A22 between Whitesmith and East Hoathly, East Sussex, when a car ploughed over the top of an injured deer on the A22.

Rescuers on their way to East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Services (WRAS) Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith, stopped after finding a deer lying injured in the middle of the A22.

"Cars travelling in both directions stopped including WRAS's veterinary ambulance, but to everyone's horror, a car accelerated round stopped vehicles squeezing through a narrow gap between cars and just ploughed over the top of the injured deer" said Trevor Weeks, founder of East Sussex WRAS.

The deer which had run out into the road only moments earlier and been clipped by a car, is thought to have been saveable but died several minutes after being run over for a second time.

"I think everyone was in disbelief that this car accelerating all the time, squeezed between everyone and ploughed over the deer. We were trying to manoeuvre our ambulance across to the side of the road and had to suddenly stop to avoid the car hitting us, we even had our orange warning beacons on and other cars had their hazard lights on. When we got out and checked the deer you could clearly see and feel where the second car had gone over the rib cage of the deer causing major internal injuries" added Trevor, "When cars drive over toads at toad migration routes you can't expect drivers to see such small animals, but this was not exactly a small deer lying in the road, and was quite obvious, so clearly the driver had no concern for the deer's welfare at all, or was otherwise driving without due care and attention. If this had been a human lying injured in the road the driver would have been wanted for murder."

"WRAS recognises that most deer do not survive after being hit by cars due to spinal damage, and most have to be shot. However, deer are regularly hit on this stretch of road and measures need to be put in place to help avoid these collisions. Electronic warning signs as used on the New Forest which detect deer on the grass verges would go along way to helping to reduce down the number of collisions, as well as reducing the speed limit." Said Trevor, "It was very distressing to see this, and when we examined the deer, the only injuries we could find were where the second car had driven over the deer, otherwise this may have been saveable. Kathy and I were reduced to tears after seeing such horrific disregard for animal welfare. Many of the deer and thousands of other wildlife which are hit on our roads could be avoided if we reduce down our speed at night in rural areas especially those areas where it is known that deer cross."

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, Director, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958

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