Deer in road causes fatal rollover near Stillwater
BY AMANDA BLAND World Staff Writer
Saturday, November 24, 2012
11/24/12 at 5:56 AM
STILLWATER - A man died late Thursday after a rollover collision caused by a deer on Oklahoma 51, troopers said.
Weldon Drew, 77, died at Stillwater Medical Center around 11:45 p.m., according to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report.
Drew was a passenger in a 2006 Buick Enclave sport utility vehicle that veered to the right to avoid hitting a deer in the roadway on Oklahoma 51 about 7 miles west of Stillwater around 7:15 p.m., troopers said. The Enclave then swerved left, struck a ditch and rolled twice.
The SUV's driver, Clara Drew, 60, was treated and released for head and internal trunk injuries, the report states.
The Drews were both wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.
Weldon Drew's death comes about one month after an Owasso teen died in a crash in which the driver had swerved to avoid a deer.
Owasso High senior Brittany Ellis, 17, died Oct. 21 after the driver of the car in which she was riding swerved to avoid a deer near Mohawk Park in Tulsa and lost control of the vehicle, police said.
The vehicle, carrying Ellis and five other teens, hit a median and flipped several times. One of the other passengers suffered injuries that were not considered life threatening.
The Insurance Information Institute estimates U.S. motorists are involved in 1.6 million automobile collisions with deer annually. The institute estimates 200 people die each year in such crashes, in addition to tens of thousands of injuries, $3.6 billion in vehicle damage and $1 billion in medical expenses.
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. released the following statistics on the likelihood of a motorist colliding with a deer in Oklahoma and the region: Oklahoma, 1 in 195; Kansas, 1 in 128; Texas, 1 in 334; Arkansas, 1 in 102; and Missouri, 1 in 116.
Experts say drivers should be particularly alert during deer season and offer the following advice:
Original Print Headline: Deer causes fatal rollover collision
- Reduce distractions in the vehicle and stay alert. A deer standing near a roadside may suddenly cross the road. Slow down and use your horn to scare the deer.
- Never shine or flash your vehicle's lights, as this causes deer to fixate on your vehicle. Use high beams for greater visibility.
- Deer travel in groups. If you see one crossing the road ahead, slow down because there are probably others in the area but out of view.
Amanda Bland 918-581-8413