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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 May 2007, 14:11 GMT 15:11 UK
Council ditches dead deer demand
Robert Purdie in hospital
Mr Purdie broke his knee and collar bone in the smash
A biker who was sent a 386 clean-up bill by his local council after crashing into and killing a deer has had the demand cancelled.

Robert Purdie, 61, spent four days in hospital after the red deer jumped in front of his Honda CX500 motorcycle.

Nine months later, Argyll and Bute Council sent him a bill to cover the cost of cleaning the deer carcass off the road.

But the council dropped its demand after Mr Purdie took legal advice.

The animal died instantly in the smash on the A819 near his home village of Taynuilt last June, while Mr Purdie, a postman, fractured his knee and collar bone.

In March, nine months after the accident, Argyll and Bute Council sent Mr Purdie a bill for 386.43 to cover the cost of its workmen scraping the remains of the dead animal off the road.

There was blood and guts everywhere but if anyone was to blame for the accident it was the deer, not me
Robert Purdie
Biker

Council chiefs said at the time that they billed anyone they deemed responsible for a road crash that had to be cleared up by its staff, although they did not enforce the rule if there are human fatalities involved.

But after Mr Purdie consulted his lawyers over the bill, which the council gave him just 10 days to pay, he was told the claim had been dropped.

Stewart Turner, the council's head of Roads and Amenity Services, said he had "reviewed" the case and payment was no longer necessary.

In a letter to Mr Purdie, he said the decision had been made because it had taken so long for the council to send the bill.

Mr Turner said the council's general policy of charging motorists for cleaning up after accidents would not change, but cases would be considered on an individual basis.

Red deer
The red deer ran out in front of his bike

Council figures showed there were 10 accidents involving deer on the A819 between May and November 2006, but Mr Purdie was the only person billed for cleaning up.

Mr Purdie said: "I'll still have to pay my lawyers, as I took advice on the matter before it was dropped, but I am glad justice has been done. It was just ridiculous.

"There was blood and guts everywhere but if anyone was to blame for the accident it was the deer, not me."

Mr Purdie did not tell his insurance company about the crash because it did not cost him much more than his 150 excess to get his bike repaired. He had been driving at 50mph on the 60mph stretch of road when the deer leapt in front of him in the dark.


SEE ALSO
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31 Jan 07 |  Science/Nature
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