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Over 60 crashes involving animals in Cornwall and Devon

Over 60 crashes involving animals in Cornwall and Devon

Published by Emma Carton at 8:50am 9th November 2019. (Updated at 10:52am 9th November 2019)

Written by Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Clark and Emma Carton

Two people have died in recent years following a collision between a vehicle and an animal on Devon and Cornwall’s roads.

A Freedom of Information Request to Devon and Cornwall Police asked for information involving road traffic collisions reported that involved animals/wildlife in 2017 and 2018.

Details provided outlined the type of animal involved and the severity of any injuries to members of the public.

The information provided said that there were two fatal collisions – one in 2017 and one in 2018.

Christopher Bluck, 26, died in the early hours of June 7th 2017 after the motorbike he was riding collided with an escaped cow on the A386 in North Devon.

Mark Webb, 40, a courier driver from Pontefract in West Yorkshire, died in February 2018 when his Peugeot van went into the back of a tractor towing bulls on the A30 near Bodmin.

a30 crash 2
Two people have died in two years after crashes involving animals in Cornwall and Devon, including this collision on the A30 near Bodmin. Photo: Rob Butler


What do the figures show?

Crashes involving animals in 2017:

In 2017 there were 25 recorded road traffic collisions - of which seven involved a deer and three a horse/pony.

There were 33 injuries as a result of the collisions - one of which was fatal and four of which were serious.

Animal Collisions 2017 1
Animal Collisions 2017 2


Crashes involving animals in 2018:

The number of road traffic accidents reported that involved animals/wildlife in 2018 rose to 39. 

Of which, 10 involved a deer and three involved cows, foxes or horses.

In total, 50 people were injured. One of which was fatal and ten which were serious.

Animal Collisions 2018 1
Animal Collisions 2018 2


What is the law around hitting an animal?

What is a road traffic collision?

A road traffic collision is where a motor vehicle is involved in a collision on a road or in a car park open to the public, where someone else's property or vehicle is damaged or any person or animal is injured (animal means: horse, cattle, ass, mule, pig, sheep, goat or dog).

You do NOT need to call the police after a collision if:

If a person is involved in a collision in a public place (including a car park) and they have stopped and exchanged details with any other relevant person. This includes collisions where property is damaged or an animal is hurt.

Call 999 if:

  • Someone is seriously hurt
  • The road is blocked or the collision is causing a danger to other road users
  • You think a driver is under the influence of drink or drugs.

Email 101, or call 101 within 24 hours if:

  • A person is hurt but doesn't need emergency medical attention.
  • A person is unable to exchange details with another relevant person
  • A person's standard of driving was such that proceedings or driver retraining should be considered


A driver would not normally be prosecuted for a momentary lapse of attention.

BUT failing to look properly before commencing an action is not classed as a momentary lapse of concentration. A driver has to make sure it is safe before making a maneuver, like changing lanes on a motor way for example.

Hitting an animal:

The law does not require you to report or exchange details for collisions involving deer, badgers, foxes, birds or cats but it may still be appropriate to let a relevant person know.

BUT if you collide with something and you are not sure what it was, report it to the police.

You can read more advice from Devon and Cornwall Police here.

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