Chippewa County (WQOW)– Chippewa County officials said the rough winter is to blame for a dramatic spike in crashes.
“We looked at the trend from last year in the first quarter till this year in the first quarter, and we’re definitely seeing property damage crashes go up and slightly increase in injury crashes as well,” said Highway Commissioner Brian Kelley.
In 2018, there were 49 car versus deer crashes, 175 crashes without injuries, 34 people were hurt and two people died in the first quarter.
In the first quarter this year, there were 16 deer crashes, 206 crashes without injuries, 39 people were hurt and there were no fatalities.
Kelley said the rough winter may have caused an overall increase in accidents, but because of the harsh weather, there were fewer car versus deer crashes.
“Basically the deer herd up when it’s this kind of weather, and you don’t see them crossing the road as much,” Kelley said. “It’s hard for them to move around. Huge snow banks in the ditches that they couldn’t get over so car deer crashes were down this first quarter.”
“We did see a decrease in fatalities thankfully,” Kelley said. “We had two last year in the first quarter and none this year in the first quarter, so hopefully we keep that trend going for the rest of the year.”