OHSP: Nearly 50,000 Deer Related Crashes In 2012

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COOPER TWP.,–Kalamazoo County Deputies are reminding drivers about road safety when it comes to deer crossing after a double fatal crashTuesday morning.

Fifty-five-year-old Theobald Metzger was traveling southbound on Douglas Ave when he hit a deer and lost control of his motorcycle. He was thrown off and killed. Deputies say he was wearing a helmet.

Just shortly after, 78-year-old Edmund Janke was driving down Douglas, he too lost control of his car as he swerved to try and miss Metzger, who was lying in the road. Janke was killed instantly, and deputies say he wasn’t wearing his seat belt and was ejected from the car when it flipped.  Deputies say speed isn’t believed to be a factor.

Statistics from Michigan State Police say 80 percent of accidents occur between dusk and dawn on two lane roads, just like where this accident happened.

While its always important to keep an eye out , spring and fall is when the deer are most active.“We have hunters out in the woods who are pushing deer out. Many times if there’s one deer, there’s two or three or more to follow,” said Sgt. Michael Jafri with the Michigan State Police Wayland Post.

According to the Office of Highway Safety and Planning in 2012 there were 50,000 vehicle deer crashes. Three of the eightpeople killed in those accidents were motorcyclists.

Across West Michigan, Kent County had the highest number of deer-related crashes in the state for the past three years with more than 1,500 in 2012. Ottawa came in just over 1,000 and Kalamazoo at 933.

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