PA trooper critically injured when deer hits motorcycle in OIB

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Submitted: Sat, 05/18/2013 - 3:33am
Updated: Sun, 05/19/2013 - 12:39pm

Ocean Isle Beach Police Chief John Goodwin says Josiah Murdock and some friends were in town for Bike Week.

A friend of Murdock said the group from Pennsylvania came to ride around the Little River, and Ocean Isle Beach area.

Goodwin says the group was just about 500 feet from a home where they were staying E. 4th St. when a deer jumped into the road and hit Murdock around 12:30 a.m.

Bill Houck, a motorcyclist, who did not know Murdock, said riding after dark can be hazardous.

“Nighttime is inherently more dangerous, just because of things like that,” Houck said.

Goodwin says Murdock was wearing a helmet but still suffered head injuries. At last check he was listed in critical condition at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Murdock’s friend says Murdock has brain damage and bruise all over his face. He also said Murdock’s father and fiancé flew down from Pennsylvania to be by his side.

Chief Goodwin says the investigating officer believes Murdock may have had alcohol in his system, but police do not yet know the results of lab tests.


  • Boomer says:

    As was stated In previous text, there are definitely deer on ocean isle. I spent every summer there and there are many other species of animals on the beach. I don’t know if now there are goats or other animals left there. The only thing between the mainland and the beach is the inner coastal waterway. At one time you could see tugs pushing and pulling commercial barges hourly. It use to be a very active waterway. Today, very few large barges and ships use the waterway. It is more private boats and watercraft now. By building large bridges, costing millions and millions to build, the government was able to alleviate the cost of having someone available twenty four hours a day to raise and lower the bridges to allow tall watercraft through on the hour. I kind of liked the old bridges. Back to the deer. If you are not familiar with the deer in the area, you will be surprised to see the number of deer. I observed at one time, more than thirty five to fifty deer at one field in the area. At first there were so many deer standing around grazing that there appeared to be a herd of cattle! That is not an exaggeration. If something is not done to diminish the number of deer, they are going to begin dying from wasting and starvation. At any time from dusk to dawn I could show you so many deer in the area that one think you are on a deer preserve. I am not surprised at all hearing about the accident. It is something that is going to happen. Not when, but who is going to get hurt. I hope the trooper makes a complete recovery. It will be hard, but something the trooper can aim for. I am a retired police officer. I once hit a deer in my police car, with a gentleman in the rear seat, who was being transported for a bail hearing for a minor crime. I was traveling on the interstate when a deer from the side of the road decided he was going to attempt to cross the interstate. The deer actually ran into the car just below the right front fender, smashing it in, shattered the windshield, caved the passenger side doors in, and damaged the quarter panel. If I had not actually seen the damage this deer caused I would not have believed it. I was so surprised by the deer that I forgot about the prisoner in the rear of my car. My point is just to show how that cute little creature can do great injury to the vehicle as well as any occupants. The deer stood up and walked into the nearby forest. I was later told that his remnants were found in the woods nearby. My patrol vehicle was totalled. The only positive thing that came out of the ordeal was the new patrol vehicle I received from carpool. If something is not done to reduce the number of deer/car accidents, more people and children are going to be hurt. I think it is time for Brunswick County to extend the length of hunting season, and increase the number of deer that can be taken.

  • Boris says:

    According to this story the guy hit a deer on the Island of Ocean Isle, but there are no deer on the island of Ocean Isle. Story makes no sense.

  • anne says:

    Boris – you are so wrong! I live at Oceann Isle and there are deer here!

  • BayOWolf says:

    I live on Ocean Isle Beach and I can tell you that there are most definitely lots of deer on the Island. I see them every night across from my home. They live in the scrubby trees mostly at the East end of the island and they come out to feed at dusk. I have even seen them going up to the Ocean edge in the very early hours of the day.

  • BILL HOUCK says:


  • Guest111 says:

    . . . to stay off motorcycles. They are dangerous and you get critically hurt and killed on them. There’s nothing to protect you in the event of an accident. When will they learn and by the way, he may have had alcohol in his system?? Don’t you DARE go around him with a cigarette. . he might get second hand smoke.

  • Gustafo says:

    People like you shouldn’t breed based on your thought process alone.

  • Guest111 says:

    My comment sounds pretty crude and rude. I certainly didn’t mean to. My sincere apology to this man and his family. Not the time or place for this response but I really do not like motorcycles and I seem to spout off at the mouth when one comes in to a conversation. I also am tired of all the hoopla about smoking and yet folks sit in bars from noon on drinking then get in their cars and drive off in rush hour traffic. I absolutely hope this man has a quick and full recovery with no permanent damages. I apologize for my comment, it was inappropriate. Geez, I’m turning in to my mother.

  • Guest HD4ME says:

    Been riding for 40 years and can tell you I can dodge a deer better on my bike than in a car. Experience is what keeps a rider safe, along with paying attention to your surroundings.

  • theo says:

    And if you insist on riding a motorcycle at all, not just after dark and drinking, wear a top-of-the-line full-face helmet. Not one of those skimpy helmets my ER nurse girlfriend calls “Brain Buckets.” People will never learn.

    By the way, if you want to smoke on Wrightsville Beach, just stand in the water. Technically it’s not Wrightsville Beach domain!

  • terri Williams says:

    Just because he was riding a bike at midnight doesn’t make him a drinker,.and just because he was on bike doesn’t make him a drinker.Not all motorcycle riders drink.Do yo know when a deer is coming at you?They also come through the windshields of cars and kill you.Living.g in Wilmington can kill you.Give the guy a break,prayets to his family,and may he make a speedy recovery.

  • Wilmington Observer says:

    Did it add anything to the story, by printing the address, even if temporary, of a law enforcement officer?

    Wilmington Observer

  • Guest2020 says:

    At least they didn’t include the house number. But, it really is a shame that they would give any indication of where he was staying. LEO’s take care not to let personal information out there in order to protect their families.

  • Emily says:

    Josh is great man and a wonderful trooper! He has many friends here and is very well liked! He would do anything to help anybody out. So sad to see bad things happen to such good people! He is in our thoughts and prayers back here in PA and all hope to see him have a quick recover. Best wishes murdock! And God Bless! <3

  • guesty says:

    Did he have a real helmet on or one of the black plastic bowls with a fake DOT sticker on it?

  • Boris says:

    The deer didnt hit the biker, the biker hit the deer. Motor vehicle accidents with animals for insurance purposes are collisions, but the animal cannot be at fault. A biker drinking before riding, oh I am shocked they would never do that at the beach leaving one bar to another LOL

  • GuestO'Day says:

    Hey Guest111, I have read many things you have written on this board and I am confident that you are a fine, decent and upstanding person! While your first post on this story kind of made me go “hmmmmm”, your explanation and kind expressions to the accident victim and his family are really virtuous and upright gestures.

  • Guest111 says:

    Thank you. I goofed up. .

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