Jefferson City Ranked 5th for Deer-Vehicle Accidents

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JEFFERSON CITY - The state of Missouri is ranked 15 in the country for likelihood of deer-related car accidents. MoDOT released numbers of the top Missouri cities based on accidents in 2012 and Jefferson City is fifth.

"Last year we had nearly 4,000 deer-vehicle accidents [statewide]," said MoDOT Maintenance Supervisor Mike Belt. "That led to five fatalities and a little over 400 injuries."

"Well I was actually on my way home just after dark and where I live the tree line right next to the road I live on, and the deer just decided it was going to hop out at me," said Columbia resident Thomas Busalacki. "We had a nice meeting and it smashed my truck."

Busalacki is also a technician at Midwest Autoworx and luckily could fix the damage the eight point buck did to his car. "It was cheaper for me to get the parts myself and just fix it myself." said Busalacki. "It's a heck of a lot cheaper than the deductible."

The deer-vehicle accident wasn't a first for Busalacki.

"When I was 18, I was driving on the back roads between Fulton and Millersburg and a deer actually leaped into the side of my Grand Prix, which was pretty much a tank," said Busalacki. "The antlers actually poked several holes in the hood, busted the windshield and I had a piece of glass hit me in the forehead."

"It used to be a lot more in the country, but surprisingly there's a lot more of the deer population that started to move into more of the urban areas," said Belt. "Motorists can do a couple things. Slow down, pay attention, and when you aren't meeting high coming traffic, use your high beams to be able to see out farther and see the deer."

Belt also said deer travel in groups. "If you see one run across the road, go ahead an slow down, hit your brakes and be prepared for those other ones to come across," said Belt.

Kansas City was first on the list with 228 accidents, followed by Wildwood (67), Cape Girardeau (53), Lees Summit (51), and Jefferson City (30).