A Pennsylvania man was killed June 24 when his motorcycle was struck by a deer in the Northern Tier.

Police told WETM-TV that David Gardner, 64, of Clarks Summit, Pa., was riding on North Street in Terry Township, Bradford County, when the deer jumped into the road and struck Gardner’s bike.

Gardner was airlifted to a regional hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Deer run in front of or into the sides of vehicles at times and rarely are drivers or their passengers killed. But motorcycles, with no protection, are a much different story.

Motorcyclists are often injured trying to avoid animals, both wild and domestic, that are in the roadway.

A quick check of headlines across the nation this month shows fatal accidents involving motorcyclists and deer in many states, including Minnesota, Maine and Maryland.

Animals are a very real danger we have to be on the lookout for, especially large animals like deer, and especially at night.

The folks at bikesafer.com make an excellent point worth remembering — animals are unpredictable. There is not much riders can do to strategize for animal encounters, unless we are riding somewhere where we know animals are frequently in the road. Even then, there is no way to predict what will happen and when.

It’s hard to find reliable statistics on vehicle or motorcycle encounters with deer, because so many accidents are never reported.

Motorcyclist and veteran journalist David L. Hough has a terrific blog post about the animal dangers he faces in the Pacific Northwest that all motorcyclists in Elmira, Corning and the Twin Tiers should read.

Educate yourself. Slow down in dangerous areas. Be wary of any animal you see in or near a road. They are unpredictable.

And always be prepared to slow down and stop quickly. Don’t be distracted; always scan the road for manmade and animal hazards. Because you just never know the challenges you’ll face each time you start your bike.

One important distinction to remember between wild and domesticated animals Рif you are injured by a domestic animal Рwe CAN very likely hold the owner responsible for your injuries, whether it be a cat a dog or a horse or a cow.  There is no way to recover for injuries you sustain if you are injured in a collision with a wild animal, unless you are a passenger on the motorcycle.

Thanks for reading, and remember to ride safely!


ZiffLaw Attorney, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Accident Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY 14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: info@zifflaw.com