HUTCHINSON, Minn. (WCCO) -– The Minnesota State Patrol released new video of a state trooper who ran into a deer as a reminder to be on the lookout for them while driving.
On Sunday, a trooper was heading south on Highway 15, south of Hutchinson when a deer ran onto the highway, jumped out and slammed into the squad car. The deer’s head and antlers went through the driver’s side windshield.
The trooper suffered only minor injuries in the accident.
“It’s interesting for us to have the video,” said Lt. Jason Bartell of the State Patrol, “and for the public to see that how dangerous it is.”
There were 2,570 car-deer crashes in Minnesota last year, and about a third of them happened in October and November. So, the State Patrol is urging drivers to slow down and buckle up, pay extra attention at dawn and dusk, when deer are most active. Also, if you see one, hit the brakes and don’t veer for the deer.
“As you can see,” Bartell said while viewing the videotape, “the trooper just stays the course and unfortunately it happened and it hit the squad, but he didn’t involve any other vehicles or any other issues with that. So, that’s something to learn from.”
The trooper’s crash happened in McLeod County, which wasn’t even in the top 4 for Minnesota last year: Hennepin County had the most deer crashes (166) followed by Sherburne (160), Dakota (150) and Anoka (105).
“You know, it’s a highly populated area,” said Bartell. “We have a lot of roadways around here, but people seem to think there’s not deer around either, which is wrong.”
Bartel points out that many of the most serious injuries involve motorcycles. So, the patrol is asking riders to wear protective gear, pay extra attention and maybe even avoid riding at dusk in the final weeks of the motorcycle season.