MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WDTN) — A Kettering couple has started a petition to install overhead street lamps on highways that run through deer-crossing areas after experiencing a life-threatening car accident that they say could have been prevented.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 17, Jasmine Shaw and Austin Jordan were traveling home from Cleveland while driving on I-70 near London.
Shaw said there were no street lamps on the stretch of highway, or surrounding areas, no lights on any exit signs and no mile markers. However, there were multiple signs, for multiple miles, warning of deer crossing.
“My partner and I were going 75 in the middle lane on I-70 — the posted limit is 70 — when we spotted a group of deer about 6-10 deep on the right side of the road right before we were about to pass them. There was absolutely no way to have seen the group further back with only our headlights and no others,” Shaw said.
Jordan slowed the speed of the vehicle to prepare for any more deer on the side of the road, but they were instead met with a doe standing in the middle of the highway.
“We did not have any time to react or prepare for such an impact and ended up going full speed through the doe, making it bounce behind our vehicle.”
Both airbags deployed, and the vehicle cabin quickly filled with smoke as Jordan tried to make his way from the middle lane into the shoulder of the highway, trying to be mindful of the semis behind them with a lack of visibility.
They escaped the cabin and called State Highway Patrol, but because there were no street lights, the couple was unable to provide any information as to where they were.
“Because there were no street lights, we didn’t see the deer we hit until we were right in front of it. Because there were no street lights, my partner and I almost lost our lives,” Shaw said.
“I am petitioning for the State of Ohio to install overhead street lamps on highways that run through deer crossing areas, for the sake of every Ohioan’s life and the sake of Ohio’s deer population.”
Shaw said she has been in contact with the Ohio Department of Transportation about the petition and is working to get more signatures so further action can be taken.
The online petition can be found here.