Deer blamed for fatal weekend crash in Jefferson County

JEFFERSON COUNTY — An investigation blames a deer for causing a single-vehicle crash that claimed the life of a 22-year-old McLeansboro man early Saturday morning.

(Credit: cindygoff)
(Credit: cindygoff)

Jefferson County Coroner Eddie Joe Marks said Monday, that 22-year-old Lucas D. Johnson of McLeansboro was killed in the crash. A passenger in his truck, 21-year-old Kalie N. Montgomery of Carterville, was reportedly taken to a hospital in St. Louis. Her condition is not known.

Investigators say that around 3:10 a.m. Saturday, Johnson was driving a truck on Opdyke Lane near the intersection of Lynchberg Road when his vehicle struck a tree.

Marks says an 8-point buck was found about 75 yards from where Johnson’s truck ran off the road. The deer was killed in the collision and is being blamed for the fatal crash.

According to Marks, Johnson struck the deer, but was trying to avoid it. He swerved, failed to miss the deer, went into the ditch and overcorrected.

Marks calls the incident an unfortunate accident.

Blood samples for toxicology tests were taken, but the results will not be known for three weeks to a month, Marks said.
Johnson’s funeral is set for 11 a.m. Tuesday at Harre Funeral Home in McLeansboro.