Troopers urge deer caution after fatal I-81 crash

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – State police say there’s a lesson to be learned from a fatal crash early Monday on Interstate 81.

Three people were killed after their car was hit from behind near Chambersburg. Police said the Nissan became disabled on the roadway when it struck a deer.

“The Nissan Sentra burst into flames, caught on fire, and was pushed into the median, and all occupants of the vehicle were killed,” Trooper Rob Hicks said.

Travis Lau, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said you’ll see more deer on the roads over the next couple weeks because it’s mating season.

Lau said you should drive with extra caution, especially during certain hours.

“Deer can be on roads at any time,” Lau said. “Typical times for deer movement are dusk and dawn and overnight between those periods.”

Deer often travel in groups.

“They often travel in single file lines,” Lau said. “So, just because one deer has crossed the road in front of you, that doesn’t mean that the hazard to the driver is over. There could be another one behind, so be mindful of that, as well.”

Hicks said if a deer darts in front of your car, don’t swerve.

“Generally, if you try to steer away and try to miss the deer, then you might go off the roadway, strike a telephone pole, might go across the roadway and strike another vehicle head on, which increases the likelihood of having some serious injuries or death,” he said.

Hicks said if you hit a deer, get off the road.

“You have to try to get your vehicles off the roadways as quickly as possible because people are not going to expect a vehicle to be stopped,” he said. “Put flashers on, do whatever you can to get people’s attention.”

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