Madison Heights, VA Car Hits Deer in Fatal Crash, Oct 2014

Deer to blame in fatal Amherst County car crash

MADISON HEIGHTS — A deer darting into the road is to blame for a crash that killed a Campbell County teacher Thursday morning.

The wreck happened at about 6:15 a.m. on Virginia 130 (Elon Road), less than a mile west of Amelon Road in Madison Heights, Virginia State Police said.

Brogan T. Franklin, 23, was driving a 2007 Mazda 6 east when he swerved for a deer entering the road, Virginia State Police Spokeswoman Corinne Geller wrote in an email.

Franklin’s car hit the deer, ran off the left side of the road and through the median into Virginia 130’s westbound lanes.

Amber N. Pueh, 25, of Amherst, was driving a 2005 Ford Explorer west on Virginia 130 at the time. She ?could not avoid hitting the Mazda, police said. Pueh sustained minor injuries. Both drivers wore seatbelts, according to police.

Franklin was a faculty member at William Campbell Combined School in Naruna. Campbell County School Board member Roger Akers said Franklin’s death will have an impact on the close knit school.

“Extra counselors will be in the school to talk about it with the students. The school has sent letters home for parents who didn’t hear about it,” he said.

Deer-related crashes like the one that killed Franklin spike this time of year, with more than half of all such wrecks happening in just three months — October, November and December.

The reason for such a high number of wrecks this time of year is fall marks the deer’s mating season, according to joint news release from AAA and Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

In the Lynchburg area, Bedford and Amherst counties had the most run-ins with deer in 2013, at 151 and 90 crashes respectively.

AAA Mid-Atlantic advises drivers stay alert, wear a seatbelt and drive the speed limit at all times to avoid a crash. Drivers should be observant of deer-crossing signs, and watch for deer on the side of the road.

“Deer travel in groups, so if you see one crossing the road ahead slow down, as there are probably others in the area but out of view,” the release states.

Lynchburg Police Officer Ronnie Sitler said if a driver sees a deer on the highway, first and foremost, slow down.

October 30, 2014