Biker hurt in crash with deer is charged £386 for clean-up

A MOTORCYCLIST who crashed into a deer has been sent a £386 bill by his local council to pay for cleaning up its carcase - nine months after the accident.

Robert Purdie, 61, spent four days in hospital after the red deer leapt out in front of him on the A819 near his home at Taynuilt, near Oban, Argyll. The animal died instantly, while Mr Purdie fractured his knee and collar bone.

Now, nine months after the accident, Argyll and Bute Council has sent Robert a bill for 386.43. It says the bill is to cover the cost of its workmen cleaning the dead deer from the road.

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Council leaders say they bill anyone they deem responsible for a road crash that has to be cleared up by its staff. They do not enforce the rule if there are human fatalities, however.

Mr Purdie is now taking legal advice over the bill, which the council says he must pay within ten days.

He hit the deer as he was returning last June from Glasgow, where he had been giving support to his daughter Victoria, who is ill and is waiting for a kidney transplant.

He did not tell his insurance company about the crash because it was not going to cost him much more than his 150 excess to get his Honda CX500 motorbike repaired.

He said: "There was blood and guts everywhere, but if anyone was to blame for the accident it was the deer - not me. It was dark and I was only going at 50mph on a 60mph stretch of road.

"The deer ran out right in front of me and there was nothing I could do to avoid it.

"I had to spend four days in Oban hospital because of my injuries, but I still managed to drag most of the dead animal to the side of the road before the ambulance arrived.

"The council have apparently spent nine months looking for me, which must have cost them far more than the 386 they are trying to recoup.

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"I don't understand how it took them so long to track me down when the police took my registration details at the time.

"It has already cost me 200 to get my bike repaired. There is no way I am forking out another 386 to pay for a dead deer and I will be speaking to my solicitor.

"Surely that is why I pay road and council tax every year?

"My insurers are refusing to pay the bill because I have to report any accident within ten days. It has now been nine months.

"I travel on that road regularly and always watch my speed because I know there are a lot of deer around. I'm a wee bit old to be a boy racer and the police were satisfied at the time I wasn't breaking the law in any way.

"There are no deer fences to keep them off the road, so accidents are going to happen from time to time.

"I have been in touch with the Deer Commission for Scotland and they tell me they have never heard of anything like this."

A spokesman for Argyll and Bute Council said: "If we are called out to clear away debris after a road accident we tend to identify the person responsible.

"When we can identify those responsible we will charge the cost of the clean-up to them. However, we wouldn't do this if there was a human fatality.

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"Although we expect the driver to pay for the clean-up we would expect them to claim these costs from their insurance. The delay in contacting the driver was due to us getting information from police central records."