A South Okanagan resident is urging Penticton city council to reconsider its recent ruling to keep the status quo in terms of urban deer management.
Alexander (Zander) Cook, a Kelowna resident who commutes daily for work in Penticton, was thrown from his Vespa scooter when attempting to avoid deer on Eckhardt Avenue at 7:45 a.m. of April 2.
“They came out of nowhere, it was a mom and two babies I think. I don’t think I hit them but I really don’t know,” said Cook.
“I have no use of my right arm, I’m on heavy painkillers and I’m now missing a week of work,” said Cook. “I was launched off my scooter and was unconscious on the pavement. So I had to take an ambulance and spend the day in the Penticton hospital. Thankfully I have no broken bones but my right arm has severe tissue damage.”
It just so happens that later that day city council voted to maintain their current strategy of public education in regards to urban deer bother residents.
Cook said he blacked out shortly after the accident so he can’t recall which intersection on Eckhardt Avenue he was on, but noted that three deer had jumped out onto the road. One went in front of the truck directly in front of him, and two went between him and the truck.
“We were leaving the green light going 45 kilometres per hour or a little bit less, and when the deer went in front of (the truck driver) he slammed on his brakes. Then two deer went behind him, in front of me, so I was either going to hit the truck or hit the deer,” said Cook. “So I slammed my brakes and I think I launched myself into the air and hit my right side on the pavement.”
Cook is thankful he wasn’t more severely injured by the incident, but said his Vespa did not fare too well. His coworker attended the scene to bring the scooter to his workplace in Penticton, so he has not seen it since the incident but has been told it is currently out of commission.
Cook thinks council should reconsider its standpoint and hold a plebiscite to see if the community is interested in pursuing other options to deal with deer in the urban centre. He said he knows these types of accidents can be common and fears that others may get hurt if the deer population isn’t firmly dealt with.
“It could have been much worse, and who could be next? It’s not life-threatening or anything but it’s really impacting my life right now,” said Cook. “I can’t work and my right arm is screwed up. If the deer will culled it might not have been a problem.”
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