Archive for Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Driver swerved to miss deer in I-70 accident; Five people taken to area hospitals

August 31, 2011, 11:14 p.m. Updated September 1, 2011, 11:44 a.m.


A Topeka man swerved to miss a deer Wednesday night in an accident on the Kansas Turnpike between the Lecompton interchange and McDonald Drive exit in Lawrence that left five people injured, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol report.

Andrew Michael Cravens, 20, was listed as the driver of a 2000 Pontiac car in the accident that occurred about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday in the westbound lanes of Interstate 70. After Cravens swerved, the car left the road and struck a guardrail.

Five people were transported to area hospitals Wednesday night, including one passenger with serious injuries who was flown via a helicopter ambulance to Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka. When medics arrived, they reported the vehicle had driven through one of the bridge guardrails in the westbound lanes.

The four passengers in the car were Daniel J. Mason, 18; Nicole Jackson, 17; Amanda Elizabeth Moran, 18, all of Topeka; and, Chris Mason, 24, of Universal City, Texas.

A Kansas Turnpike Authority dispatcher said Daniel Mason, who was believed to have the most serious injuries, was flown to Stormont-Vail. The four other people injured were all taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital initially.

Cravens and Moran, were later transferred to Stormont-Vail, said Belinda Rehmer, an LMH spokeswoman. Cravens was listed in fair condition Thursday at Stormont-Vail, a spokeswoman said.

Chris Mason was treated and released from LMH, and Jackson was in fair condition Thursday morning, Rehmer said.

According to the report, no one in the car wore a seat belt.


midwestmom 2 years, 7 months ago

It may make you sad to hit and kill an animal with your car, but it is forever devastating to kill another human being while trying to avoid hitting an animal. We've repeatedly, over and over told our kids to HIT THE DEER, RACCOON, SKUNK - WHATEVER it is, but never swerve. My husband also tells the kids to not panic stop - their car can be hit from the rear by a vehicle going highway speed and die (either from the tremendous impact or by being pushed into oncoming traffic).


Timothy Eugene 2 years, 7 months ago

I know it is instinct, and it's hard to get past that, but never, ever swerve to miss a deer. Take him head on and make him into burger.


Stedman 2 years, 7 months ago

Most people know not to swerve to miss a deer. However, when something jumps out in front of you while you're driving 60-70 mph, your natural instinct is going to be to try and avoid it. When there is only a split second to react natural instinct is going to win a lot of the time.


KEITHMILES05 2 years, 7 months ago

Humans are usually the stupid species.

Food for thought.


junkcrap 2 years, 7 months ago

Pywacket is correct when he says "stupid animal(s)". Humans do belong to the kingdom of Animalia. When will the animals learn that seat belts prevent injuries!


Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 7 months ago

A couple weeks ago, I was trying to help a rather inexperienced driver learn to safely drive on the highway. She can drive just fine in town, but the highway is a whole different thing. I repeated over and over to her, NEVER swerve to miss a deer!

And you know what? She was practicing highway driving very near, less than a mile, of where this accident occurred. We very well could have hit that very same deer ourselves.

Stay in your lane and hit the brakes as quick as you can, that's the best thing you can do.

Go ahead and hit the deer, the deer will probably die and your car will be damaged, but you and your passengers are very unlikely to get hurt at all. If you do get hurt, it is certainly going to be very minor.

A car weighs so much more than a deer that you hardly even slow down at all when you hit it, so you will still have to keep the brakes on to stop.

I was once a passenger in a vehicle that hit a deer. My father was driving, and there was a deer standing in the ditch ahead of him. He wasn't paying attention to the little things around the road, and at the very last split second, the deer jumped in front of our pickup.

My Dad knew to not swerve, he just slammed on the brakes real quick. Then, we hit the deer.

But, I don't think I ever told the new driver that I had actually gone through that myself. I just told her over and over, and even had her write it down, DO NOT swerve to miss a deer!

That time when my father was driving, he kept his foot on the brakes after we hit the deer, and we ended up in the ditch anyway. But by that time we were moving at a very low rate of speed so we were fine.

But the deer died.

We never did get that dent in the front of the pickup fixed, because the damage was so small that it wasn't worth it, we just drove it like that. Just a couple weeks ago, I looked at some old pictures I have of that pickup, and was reminded of that event.

The strange thing is, just about every driver here in the midwest is told over and over to NOT swerve to miss a deer, and yet so many people still do it anyway.


blindrabbit 2 years, 7 months ago

Pywacket: "Stupid animal" or stupid humans; the deer did not build the highway, just doing what they have been doing for millions of years.


Benjamin Roberts 2 years, 7 months ago

It doesn't pay to swerve for animals when you are traveling at highway speeds. The animal may win or lose - the car and occupants almost always lose.


KEITHMILES05 2 years, 7 months ago

What the hell is a "safety corridor", pray tell?


justforfun 2 years, 7 months ago

I do believe we need to deignate I-70 as safety corridor. That make several accidents in the past year.


Currahee 2 years, 7 months ago

I saw this on my way back from toepka. I counted 2 ambulances then 3-4 more followed suit. Glad to hear most of em are okay...


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