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Driver Brakes For Deer, Dies In Crash

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PLAINFIELD TWP. (WWJ/AP) - Police say a woman trying to avoid hitting a deer caused a crash that killed her and injured two other people.

The crash happened just before 9:30 a.m. Monday on southbound U.S. 131 in Kent County’s Plainfield Township, about seven miles north of Grand Rapids.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Roger Zoppa told Mlive.com that the woman slammed on her car’s brakes when she saw the deer. Another car behind the woman was unable to stop and rear-ended the woman’s car, Zoppa said.

The woman, whose name wasn’t immediately released, ended up pinned in her car in a ditch and died at the scene.

Zoppa said two people in the second car were taken to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital and treated for minor injuries.

Zoppa encouraged drivers to remain observant for deer on or near the road and remember to keep control of their cars, saying “it is always safer to hit the deer.”

According to the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition, November is one of the most dangerous months for deer crashes.

The MDCC said motorists can help avoid dangerous encounters with deer by heeding the following tips:

  • Watch for deer especially at dawn and dusk.
  • If you see one deer, approach cautiously, as there may be more out of sight.
  • Deer often travel single file, so if you see one cross a road, chances are more are nearby waiting to cross, too. When startled by an approaching vehicle, they can panic and dart out from any direction without warning.
  • Be alert all year long, especially on two-lane roads. Watch for deer warning signs. They are placed at known deer-crossing areas and serve as a first alert that deer may be near.
  • Slow down when traveling through deer-population areas.

For more information, visit the coalition’s website at www.michigandeercrash.org.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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