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Fatal Car Crash Caused by a Deer

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COMANCHE, Okla__ A fatal head-on collision in Stephens County Killed on woman and critically injured another driver.

Alma Lindesmith was driving south on highway 81 just south of Comanche when she hit a deer and swerved off the road.

 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says when she tried to get back on the highway, she pulled into the path of an SUV.

Lindesmith was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected out of her back passenger window.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Trooper Tyrone Dixon, of the OHP, says accidents involving large animals like deer, cows, horses, even buffalo are common in this area.

The best thing to do when you see an animal in your path is to reduce speeds, even if it means braking, but stay straight.

Monday night's accident was caused by a deer getting in the way of Lindesmith, causing her to swerve, something Dixon says you just can't do.

"The worst mistake a motorist can make when an animal gets out in front of them is to swerve, and swerve in a manner where they lose control of their vehicle," Dixon said.

Dixon says it is actually the law to maintain your car in your lane even with a animal in the way unless you can do so in a controlled and safe manner.

I also talked to Dave Estrada, who towed the vehicle, he says last year his crews worked around 10 accidents involving deer, but none as tragic as last night. 

"I don't have any comparison, this is probably the first one that resulted in a fatality from a deer accident," Estrada said.

The collision of the two vehicles was so strong, so powerful that parts of the vehicles flew off landing on both sides of the highway, even going down hill off the northbound lanes to where one of the vehicles came to rest.

Dixon adds at night vision can be limited and you must take extra precautions.

"If you're driving down a road way where perhaps you can not see far enough ahead of you decrease your speed, decrease your speed where in the event something does come out in front of you, or something does blow in front of you, or runs in front of you have significant time to stop your vehicle in a safe manner," Dixon said.

Lindesmith was also not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

Trooper Dixon says the single most important thing you can do to save your life or reduce injury from an accident is to wear a seatbelt and wear it properly.

OHP also says if you have comprehensive insurance coverage, your insurance considers an animal accident as unavoidable and won't go against you on your driving record,  giving you another reason to not swerve and endanger yourself.
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