Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wildlife collisions on the rise

Sheriff cautions public about fall wildlife migrations

Express Staff Writer

Deer and elk are becoming more active with the fall season, increasing the likelihood of wildlife-versus-vehicle accidents. This deer was photographed in late September in Ketchum. Photo by Roland Lane

    With fall wildlife migrations under way, the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an increased number of vehicle-and-wildlife collisions. There were three reported last week. Although no motorists were injured, all three accidents were fatal to the animals.
    Two of the accidents occurred along the newly opened state Highway 75 stretch near St. Luke’s Wood River hospital.
    The first accident occurred at about 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30, near milepost 123.5 just south of the hospital. According to the Sheriff’s Office report, an elk died after being struck by a northbound Ford 210 Flex Wagon driven by Monique Tatsuno, 70, of Ketchum.
    “The elk was injured, but had unsurvivable injuries so we dispatched it,” Sheriff Gene Ramsey said Monday.
    The second accident occurred at about 7:50 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, on U.S. Highway 26 south of Carey, when a southbound 1992 Honda Acura, driven by Jessica Adamson, 20, of Carey, collided with a deer. Ramsey said the animal was “deceased at the scene.”
    The third collision also occurred on Saturday, this time at around 11 p.m. at the intersection of Hospital Drive and Highway 75. Ramsey said a deer was killed when it collided with a northbound 2002 Volkswagen Jetta driven by Brittany Campbell, 24, of Darby, Mont.
    A damage estimate to the vehicles was not available. However, Ramsey said, “Two of the three had to be towed from the scene, so that means they’ll be without a car for a while.”
    The sheriff said drivers need to be constantly aware of the possibility of an animal running across a road in front of them.
    “This is the time of year when they’re on the move, deer and elk, and they’re very active, especially at night, throughout the county,” Ramsey said.

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