Deer crossing the road at inopportune moments, posing a hazard to vehicles and their occupants, are a fact of life in many areas around the country, including in Missouri. By wandering onto the highway, one deer forced two drivers to stop suddenly on Interstate 64 near St. Louis, Missouri, inadvertently setting off a chain reaction that resulted in the death of one vehicle occupant.
The accident happened on Friday evening. It was twilight, the time of day when deer are most likely to be active. The drivers, both women, of two eastbound vehicles saw the deer, and each came to a halt to allow it to pass. Unfortunately, the male driver of a third car came up behind them and did not stop, crashing into the rear of the second vehicle and causing it to collide with the first. The forward velocity of the third car then propelled it into the first after hitting the median.
A passenger in the second car, a 75-year-old woman from India who had not been wearing a seatbelt, died in the crash. The driver of the first car suffered serious injuries requiring transportation to the hospital, as did three occupants of the second car, a 76-year-old man and two children, ages 7 and 5. A passenger of the third car suffered minor injuries. There is no report of injury to the driver of the third car, nor is there information available about the current condition of those hospitalized.
Authorities have given no indication whether they intend to file charges against any of the drivers involved in the crash. However, family members who have lost loved ones in a motor vehicle accident may want to think about hiring an attorney.