The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

 

Published October 11, 2017

Patrol warns drivers to watch for deer on roads

LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Colonel Sandra K. Karsten, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) is reminding drivers that deer are more active and create hazards for Missouri motorists this time of year.

Last year, drivers in Missouri experienced 4,604 traffic crashes where deer-vehicle strikes occurred. One deer strike occurred every 1.9 hours in the state. In these crashes, there were six fatalities and 455 people were injured.

Deer create hazards for Missouri motorists in various ways. For instance, drivers that attempt to avoid striking a deer could end up in a more serious crash involving oncoming traffic.

“Try to remain calm,” a MSHP spokesman said. “Panicking and overreacting usually lead to more serious traffic crashes.”

The majority of deer strike crashes occur in October and November each year, with the largest number taking place in November. Although deer strikes can occur at any time, most occur between the hours of 5 p.m. and 6:59 a.m. and can happen in cities and in rural areas.

When a driver sees a deer they need to slow down and proceed with caution. If there is one deer there are probably more. Deer often travel in groups - stay on guard after a close call or when you see a single deer.

Natural features also affect deer movement. In areas where there are streams or wooded corridors surrounded by farmland, look for more deer to cross roadways.

Just last month two people were injured in vehicle-deer encounters in the lake area.

A Sedalia woman suffered moderate injuries when she hit a deer on September 17.

Around 2:58 a.m. a 2012 Hyundai Sonata, driven by Krista Padgett, 37, was westbound on Route 50 .25 miles east of Old Highway 50 when the vehicle struck the deer.

Padgett was taken to Bothwell Hospital by ambulance. She was wearing a safety device.

On September 16 a motorcycle struck a deer on Highway 54 and Ballpark Road.

The MSHP said that a 2004 Suzuki Volusia, driven by Brett Ferguson, 48, of Buckner MO, was westbound at 7:19 p.m. when the bike hit the deer and overturned, ejecting the driver and the passenger, Dawn Ferguson, 45, also of Buckner, MO.

Both received minor injuries and were taken by Camden County Ambulance to Lake Regional Hospital. Both were wearing safety devices. The bike also suffered minor damage.

Deer behavior changes due to mating season, which may cause an increase in sightings and roadway crossings. Hunting and crop harvesting may result in these animals being in places they aren’t usually seen. Drivers are urged to remain alert.

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