Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Car hits elk in reduced-speed area

Accident the first to occur since limit lowered


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

    The first reported accident involving a vehicle and wildlife in a reduced nighttime speed-limit zone on state Highway 75 north of Hailey occurred early Monday evening.
    The nighttime speed limit in a 2.75-mile stretch of highway between McKercher Boulevard in Hailey and Zinc Spur Road was reduced on Oct. 30 from 55 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour. Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey reported last week at a meeting of the Blaine County Regional Transportation Committee that the reduced speed limit seems to be effective because the number of vehicle and wildlife collisions in the area is far below what it used to be.
    Monday evening’s accident occurred at about 5:50 p.m. when a northbound 1999 Toyota car collided with an elk near Peregrine Ranch.
    Blaine County Chief Deputy Ed Fuller said there were no injuries to the driver. The elk suffered a broken leg and “an officer had to put it down.”
        He said the vehicle was going between 40 and 45 mph when it hit the animal, but that the driver had no opportunity to avoid the crash.
    “There was a herd of elk along the road and one darted out and she hit it,” Fuller said. “It just darted in front of her.”
Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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