Second accident in recent weeks involving deer

A motorcyclist received non-life threatening injuries early Wednesday, July 3, in a collision with a deer along Highway 20 near the Harney/Malheur county line. This was the second motorcycle collision incident investigated by Oregon State Police (OSP) with deer during the last two weeks in rural Eastern Oregon.

According to Senior Trooper Jason Reese, on July 3, at approximately 8:05 a.m., a 2004 Honda motorcycle operated by Parker J. Duke, 23, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was westbound on Highway 20 near milepost 178 when he saw two deer start walking across the highway in front of him. The motorcycle hit the second deer causing Duke to lay the motorcycle on its side, sliding about 50 feet before coming to rest. Duke said the deer took off running after it was struck and wasn’t in the area when emergency responders arrived.

Duke, who was wearing a protective helmet, was transported by ambulance to Harney District Hospital with multiple left side injuries.

About three weeks ago, a 63-year old man died following a collision on his motorcycle with a deer on Highway 19 in Wheeler County. OSP, ODOT and Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife urge drivers to be aware of the possible dangers associated with animals on or near our highways. Extra vigilance is required. The following information may help reduce animal/vehicle incidents:

• Be attentive at all times, especially sunset to sunrise for any potential hazard on or near the highway.

• When driving in areas that have special signs indicating the possible presence of animals/wildlife, use extra caution because these signs are posted for a reason.

• Be extra careful in areas where there is a lot of vegetation next to the road or while going around curves. Wildlife near the road may not be visible.

• Remember that the presence of any type of animal/wildlife could also mean that others are nearby.

• When you see an animal/wildlife near or on the roadway, reduce your speed and try to stay in your lane. Many serious crashes are the result of drivers swerving to avoid wildlife or other obstacles and they crash into another vehicle or lose control of their own vehicle.

• When in a motor vehicle, always wear your safety belt. Even the slightest collision could result in serious injuries.

• Car-deer traffic crashes nationally are the highest in November. During the annual deer rut season, deer activity increases along with the potential for wildlife trying to cross roads.

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