When roadkill is a killer
A Carbondale man was killed early Thursday morning when the vehicle he was riding in swerved to miss an injured deer and overturned.The 28-year-old victim’s name was not released pending notification of his family. The driver of the car, a 38-year-old man from Carbondale, was released from Valley View Hospital with minor injuries.According to the Colorado State Patrol, the men were heading to work in a 1993 Toyota Camry at 5:30 a.m. when they came upon the injured deer at milepost 9 near Aspen Glen. The deer had been struck by another vehicle and was lying in the right lane.The driver of the Toyota swerved into the left lane to avoid hitting the deer, overcorrected and then skidded off the right side of the road into a ditch. The car struck the embankment and rolled one-and-a-half times, coming to rest on its roof.Although both men were wearing seat belts, the passenger was killed when the car’s roof was crushed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.According to Trooper Brian Koch, who investigated the accident, the driver who initially hit the deer did not report the accident, nor was the deer moved off the roadway. Patrollers know the car in question was a Subaru because debris from that crash included a grill emblem.Koch said this accident should have been reported; any accident in the state that involves damage or injury is required to be reported to law enforcement. “A lot of people are not aware that they are required to report those types of accidents – people say there was no other vehicle involved, nobody was hurt, or it was just a deer,” Koch said, adding that game is considered state property in Colorado. “Deer lying in the road is an obvious hazard, especially on Highway 82 with that volume of traffic.”Koch said the incidents are being treated as two separate accidents, since the first vehicle didn’t have any direct contact with the fatal crash. They are not looking for the first vehicle in order to press charges, however.”At this time of year, the weather conditions tend to push animals into lower elevations, and they migrate in their natural corridors,” he said. “Drivers need to be aware that some areas contain a high volume of animals trying to cross the road.”There is a tall deer fence on the north side of Highway 82 where the accidents occurred, but no fence on the south side, Koch noted. Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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Amid the pre-Thanksgiving gloom of grim pandemic news here in Aspen, across Colorado and the mountain west came a small but significant dose of hope in the unlikely form of an Aspen Music Festival and School announcement.