LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - Law enforcement was reminding drivers in south Georgia Wednesday that deer are more active this time of year and that means an increased chance of you hitting a deer.
State patrol reminds drivers to expect to see more deer on the roads now, as Fall is deer mating season. "Especially in the early morning and evening hours, keep a lookout, take extra time, slow down a little bit," emphasized Sargent First Class Jeromy Roberts, post commander at the GSP post in Valdosta.
A few spray painted markings on Old Clyatteville Rd. just South of Ousley Rd. were all that remained Wednesday afternoon of the crash that killed 49 year old Clayton Lee Chandler, of Hahira, Wednesday morning.
State patrol said 40 year old Syreeta Necole Thomas, of Valdosta, was heading north on Old Clyatteville Rd. just before 6:30 a.m. when a deer ran out of the field on the east side of the road.
She hit the deer, sending it into Chandler's truck.
"The deer went airborne and actually entered through the windshield of the second vehicle," SFC. Roberts explained. "It went through the windshield, struck the driver, and the driver did sustain fatal injuries."
SFC. Roberts said the best thing to do if you see a deer is slow down if you can, but definitely do not swerve to try to miss the deer.
"You're better off striking the animal. I've worked a lot of wrecks where people have overturned in the bushes and the trees where they were trying to avoid a small animal," SFC. Roberts said.
Nearly a year ago, a man was killed on Highway 221 near the Lowndes-Lanier line when he swerved to miss a deer but ended up hitting it anyway, causing him to lose control and hit a pick up truck head on.
SFC. Roberts also reminds drivers that no one is immune to getting hit by a deer. Dash cam video from one his trooper's patrol cars showed the trooper getting hit by a deer in August.
"It was out on Inner Perimeter Rd.," SFC. Roberts said. "The trooper was just out patrolling."
The trooper's door was pinned in, forcing the trooper to have to climb out his window to get out of his car, but luckily the trooper was not hurt.
Syreeta Necole Thomas was not injured and no charges will be filed in this case.