Road Kill Removal Contractor a Dirty Job in High Demand

By: Ruth Showalter Email
By: Ruth Showalter Email

If you find yourself in an accident or come across an animal laying on the side of the road, VDOT asks that you contact them directly at 1-800-367-ROAD.

November 30, 2010

It's a rough job but somebody has to do it, and that somebody is Robert Bache. He is the Virginia Department of Transportation contractor responsible for picking up road kill in central Virginia.

"Somebody's got to do it, so why not me. Like any animal lover, you get attached to animals. You go out and you see them butchered up on the road and it hurts," said Bache, who owns a lawn and garden business.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are about 1.5 million car accidents nationwide involving deer each year. Bache says he's definitely seen an increase in animal deaths this year.

"Faster speeds, bigger trucks and then not getting them out of the road in time. Vehicles just work them up," said Bache, whose crew has already picked up more than 1,000 deer carcasses in the last two months. "I try to not think about the animals and hope all the time that no body gets hurt."

Virginia is rated one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to deer-vehicle collisions, but officials do have some tips to help drivers steer clear of danger. They say it's better not to swerve because the deer will likely end up in front of you if you do. Bache adds that drivers should always be alert and aware of their surroundings when behind the wheel.

"Look for little glimmers in the darkness - like little sparkles - because that's usually the animal's eyes. If you see those that means one is getting ready to cross in front of you," he said.

Obviously, not every accident can be avoided. While it may not be pretty, Bache puts on his gloves and gets the dirty job done.

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