MANITOULIN – The Manitoulin detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is warning drivers to not veer from deer after three deer-motor vehicle accidents occurred on October 14 between 12 noon and approximately 7 pm. Luckily, only one collision resulted in non-life-threatening injuries, although it was a serious accident.
“They are very lucky they were not hurt a lot worse,” said Doug Wismer, fire chief of the Robinson Township Volunteer Fire Department, after a very serious accident took place in the west end of the township, last Wednesday. He was referring to a southern Ontario couple who were involved in an accident which saw them hit a deer, and their vehicle ended upside down on the road. “The vehicle was pretty smashed up,” he told the Recorder.
The single vehicle accident took place on October 14 at approximately 3:30 pm with the Robinson Fire Department responding to the single vehicle roll-over at the corner of Highway 540 and Armstrong Road, approximately nine kilometres west of the township fire hall. The fire department arrived on scene within 15 minutes of the initial call, as did the UCCM Anishnaabe Police, Manitoulin OPP and EMS ambulance services.
“The two people got out of the vehicle on their own (through a smashed window),” said Mr. Wismer. Both patients were transported to hospital, one by air ambulance.
“They say they had hit a deer, and the accident took place on the newly surfaced road. They are awful lucky they weren’t seriously injured,” continued Mr. Wismer.
Members of the fire department cleaned up the extensive debris from the roadway once OPP gave the all-clear and performed traffic control—making sure the patients were kept warm and given water until EMS arrived.
After the three separate accidents on October 14 the Manitoulin OPP is reminding the public that wildlife continues to pose hazards on roadways. Although there is often signage to warn motorists of higher deer-travelled areas, drivers need to be aware in all areas and at all times of the day including at dawn and dusk.
Don’t veer for deer, warns the OPP. Should a deer run into the path of your vehicle, reduce your speed quickly, steer straight and stay in control. Also, where you see one deer, expect more. Deer often travel in herds.
Please scan the sides of the road and reduce your speed, as this will significantly increase your reaction time, recommends the OPP. “All types of wildlife continue to be a hazard on our roadways and are a special concern as the colder weather approaches when some animals start to move toward their wintering locations,” the release notes.
“Be alert when driving by removing all distractions to give yourself the best chance possible to see and predict where wildlife might go; and please wear your seatbelt,” the OPP release adds.