'Freak accident' involving deer kills man in Massachusetts

Courtesy: USDA / MGN

WESTON, Mass. (CBS/WVLT) -- A Massachusetts man died in what family members called a "freak accident" Wednesday after a crash involving a deer.

David Lang was a photographer who had just returned home from Ireland where he set up an art show. Art was his passion, and his wife said he was always on a journey.

“Amazing sculptor. He was an amazing person. He truly enjoyed teaching,” Kathleen Lang said.

While driving home, a car traveling in the opposite direction struck a deer, sending the animal into the 76-year-old's windshield and killing him. Lang's wife said she will miss her husband dearly, and that she wanted him to be remembered as a man who took on life.

“Not an armchair person, to be part of a freak occurrence in terms of how it happened is believable with him,” Kathleen Lang said.

Officials said accidents involving deer that result in death are very rare. In Lang's state, there was only one case similar to his in the past 34 years.

“They are looking for does to mate with, and they are a lot less aware of what’s going around them,” said Marion Larson, of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Experts said male deer are typically not paying close attention to their surroundings during mating season, which runs October through December.

In Tennessee, there were 7,219 deer-related crashes in 2016. Of those crashes, 330 that involved injuries, and one was fatal.

“Deer related crashes can be a very serious and dangerous incident,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said. “Deer pose a danger to motorists throughout the year, especially in the fall. Stats show November is typically the worst month for deer-related crashes. It is important for motorists to exercise caution, slow down and remain alert in areas where deer are present.”

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said if drivers see one deer, assume more are coming because they travel in packs. They added to be attentive and drive defensively during deer mating season, especially around dawn and dusk.