Semi jackknifes off I-15 attempting to avoid deer

A semitractor-trailer went off the road on I-15, near milepost 41, when the driver attempted to avoid hitting a deer. The driver survived without any reported injuries; the deer was struck and killed. New Harmony, Utah, June 29, 2015 | Photo by Jessica Tempfer, St. George News

NEW HARMONY — A man was considered lucky when he swerved to avoid hitting a deer in the road and, in so doing, came close to tipping over his semitractor-trailer.

A semitractor-trailer went off the road on I-15, near milepost 41, when the driver attempted to avoid hitting a deer.  The driver survived without any reported injuries; the deer was struck and killed. New Harmony, Utah, June 29, 2015 | Photo by Jessica Tempfer, St. George News
A semitractor-trailer went off the road on I-15, near milepost 41, when the driver attempted to avoid hitting a deer. The driver survived without any reported injuries; the deer was struck and killed. New Harmony, Utah, June 29, 2015 | Photo by Jessica Tempfer, St. George News

Monday night, the Utah Highway Patrol and New Harmony Fire Department responded to the accident on southbound Interstate 15 near milepost 41.

A 44-year-old man driving the semi veered off the road trying to avoid hitting a deer, New Harmony Fire Chief Greg Gonzalez said. Unfortunately, he struck and killed the deer. The driver lost control of the truck which jackknifed and tipped halfway over.

When the semi went off the road, it hit a delineator post which caused the passenger-side fuel pump gasket to rupture,  UHP Trooper Grant Hintze said.

Cedar City Hazmat was called to the scene as a precaution to clean up the diesel fuel, Hintze said.

The driver was wearing his seat belt at the time of the incident and reported no injuries.

No other cars or people were involved in the incident.

According to he Insurance Information Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the following tips could help drivers avoid a collision with deer:

  • Use extra caution in known deer zones
  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • At night, when there is no oncoming traffic, use high beams
  • Avoid swerving when you see a deer
  • Scan the road for deer and other danger signs
  • Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles

And here are some deer facts that all drivers should know:

  • Deer are on all roads
  • Deer are unpredictable
  • Deer often move in groups
  • Deer movement is most prevalent in the fall
  • Dusk and dawn are high risk times

This report includes preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: jtempfer@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • Mandy October 31, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    You know what would have done infinitely less damage to truck, driver, and ego? …Just hitting the deer.

    I know, I know: reflex is to swerve. Bet that driver thought in terms of hindsight for a while after that. Glad he was okay!

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