A teen driver and a camel collide – it sounds like the beginning of a joke, but sadly it is not. Monday night, an Alabama teen by the name of A.J. James, who was driving on Bryant Drive in Sardis, lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a camel.
The animal was critically injured. It is claimed that Mr. James was looking at his phone instead of the road. Terry Turk, the owner of Turk’s Bama Bucks, which breeds whitetail deer and raises other animals, told the police that he was leading the camel across the road at about 7:25 p.m. when the crash occurred.
Mr. Turk said he attempted in vain to get the teen driver’s attention by waving his arms and making noise. Turk stated that he had to jump out of the way. Otherwise, the car would have hit him too.
The teen, who suffered minor injuries including cuts to his hand and glass in his eye after his vehicle hit the camel, was taken to the hospital. According to Police Chief James Harp, the poor camel was not so lucky. The animal had to be killed because of the severity of its injuries. Harp said:
“They had to put the camel down this morning.”
Kristlyn McDaniel, who is Mr. James’ girlfriend along with her mother, Miranda McDaniel, were at a local hospital Monday night to see how he was doing. The teenager has declined to speak to the media, but the mother of his girlfriend is. Miranda McDaniel said:
“He said he was driving on Bryant Drive in Sardis near Turk’s Bama Bucks. Lighting is poor in the area, as he passed the deer farm, he said there was a truck stopped in the road in front of its gate.
The truck’s bright lights blinded him for a moment, and he looked down for about 2 seconds. By the time he looked up, the impact occurred.
He’d hit the camel that was in the roadway and the animal crashed onto his hood and into the windshield, showering glass onto his face, shoulders, chest and arms.”
“The camel was not loose in the roadway, that at Turk’s facility, all fencing, and accommodations for the animals kept there exceed the federal requirements that regulate the facility.”
Turk’s Bama Bucks, a Sardis City farm, which was created in 1998, has more than 250 deer along with three kangaroos, three elk and a pair of peafowl. According to the farm’s website:
“In 1998, Terry Turk saw a dream fulfilled when he bought a captive whitetail deer. ‘A,’ as in one. Turk is using artificial insemination to breed bigger and better deer. All of his deer are whitetail, but a lot of them look nothing like Alabama deer because of his breeding northern stock.”
A lot of online commenters expressed sadness over what happened to the camel.