AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Investigator Christian Gandy of Hephzibah was off duty riding his motorcycle on Old Waynesboro Road near the Burke County Line when a deer ran out in front of him. Gandy’s motorcycle hit the deer, ejecting him off the bike.
“You are a police officer 24/7. He wasn’t in the service working, but it still hits home to what we call the “Blue Family”, and of course because he was a public servant,” Michael Cardenaz, President of the JD Paugh Foundation, told me.
Gandy started his career with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office in 2011 when he was just 25 years old. Captain Allan Rollins with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department said he steadily worked his way through the ranks and was promoted to Investigator in May. He had a promising career.
Michael Cardenaz, President of the JD Paugh Foundation and motorcycle safety instructor explained how important assertiveness is when riding. “The biggest thing about riding a motorcycle is riding it defensively,” He explained. “You have to watch for everyone else just like every other driver on the street, but because motorcycles are less visible and smaller, and there is no protection around you. A lot of times it is the other person’s fault, but in this case, it was a deer crossing the road, and if I am not mistaken, and sometimes it is unavoidable.”
Deer presence near roads is a danger to all drivers, especially in rural areas and in the colder season.
Like Gandy, Cardenaz has a passion for riding. “It’s a certain freedom. It’s an escape from everything else. When you are riding that motorcycle, the cell phone may be ringing, but you really don’t care,” Cardenaz explained. “You are thinking about other things other than the responsibilities of life. It’s a dangerous hobby… but it is very enjoyable.”
The JD Paugh Foundation will be giving Gandy’s family a benevolent donation for immediate expenses.