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Truck hits, kills pregnant deer, its 2 fawns
Gainesville police officer Tommy McElroy looks at a fawn that died Thursday morning after its pregnant mother crashed into the windshield of a truck driving along Park Hill Drive. - photo by Tom Reed | The Times

A man who crashed his 1994 GMC Sierra into a pregnant deer on Thursday is fine, but the deer and her two fawns did not survive.

Douglas Witherow, 45, hit the deer head-on while traveling southbound on Park Hill Drive just before Lakeview Drive, Cpl. Joe Britte, with the Gainesville Police Department, said.

The deer came through the windshield, a process that cut its stomach, leaving the two fawns in the floorboard of the driver’s side.

“It’s so weird how it happened,” Britte said. “When the lieutenant was telling me about it I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”

Lt. Keith Lingerfelt said one of the fawns was alive for about 15 minutes. Police called the Department of Natural Resources to assist, but the fawns died before they arrived.

“I’ve been doing this 25 years and ... I’ve actually seen deer go through the windshield of cars before,” Lingerfelt said. “But never with the thing with the fawns where they came into the front driver’s compartment of the vehicle — that was a first.”

Britte noted that wrecks with deer can cause serious damage to vehicles, as well as injury to drivers and passengers.

“Fortunately the gentleman driving the vehicle was not injured,” he said. “... because you’re traveling at a rate of speed, and when that deer comes through the windshield you’ve got the deer and windshield coming at you.”