A Craven County sheriff’s deputy who struck a deer while speeding at 117 mph in response to a call early Monday has been fired.
Deputy Andrew Bryon Callaway, 41, was dismissed just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to county officials.
Sheriff’s Capt. Joe Heckman said the department has a no tolerance policy for excessive speed. The speed limit was 55 mph.
Callaway was responding to a reported rollover crash at 1:16 a.m. Monday when he hit the deer 1.09 miles south of Cove City on Trenton Highway near Heath Swamp Road and Cicero Riggs Road.
The initial rollover crash was reported by OnStar. While the telecommunications system dispatched the OnStar report, there are no reports from the Highway Patrol finding or investigating a rollover crash at the time.
Callaway was hired by the Sheriff’s Office Jan. 11, 2010. Heckman described Callaway as a great deputy and a hard worker.
According to the Highway Patrol trooper’s report on the crash, Callaway was traveling south when the 2013 Dodge patrol car he was driving struck the deer in the southbound lane. The car came to a controlled rest on the shoulder of the road.
Reports state Callaway’s vehicle traveled 779 feet after the impact with the deer. He was not injured, but damage to the car was estimated at more than $7,000.
Heckman said deputies hit an average of six deer a year.
The Sheriff’s Office has experienced other high-speed crashes, including one in June 2011 that killed a Bridgeton woman and resulted in the firing and prosecution of a deputy on a charge of death by motor vehicle. The incidents drew the attention of Craven County commissioners wanting to know about the Sheriff’s Office driving policies.
In the aftermath of the June 2011 crash, commissioners held back budgeted money for new vehicles until they got assurances from the Sheriff’s Office that its no tolerance policy would be revised and enforced and that a program for deputies’ driver retraining would be implemented.