BEND, Ore. - (Updating: Police speak to wildlife collisions, clarify injuries)
Five people were taken to the hospital with injuries Wednesday evening after a deer on Century Drive led to a two-vehicle crash that closed the road for more than an hour, police said.
Police and fire medics responded around 5 p.m. to the reported crash on Century Drive at Braeburn and found a 2003 GMC Envoy SUV on its side in the southbound lane, beside a 2004 Toyota Sienna minivan, said police Lt. Clint Burleigh
William Criswell, 49, of Alamo, California was identified as the driver of the minivan, accompanied by one adult passenger and two juveniles.
An initial investigation found the driver of the SUV, Hailey Holmes, 28, of Bend, was heading north on Century Drive when she saw a deer in the roadway, Burleigh said.
Holmes swerved to miss the deer, lost control of the SUV and went into the oncoming lane, where Criswell was unable to avoid a collision, the lieutenant said.
Holmes and the SUV's four occupants were taken to St. Charles Bend for treatment of their injuries, Burleigh said.
Some motorists say you should never swerve to avoid an animal in the roadway. Burleigh told NewsChannel 21 they can be "tough decisions" for drivers "and depend on all sorts of variables at the time," such as road and traffic conditions.
"The Bend Police Department has been involved in a high number of crash investigations this week," Burleigh said in a news release, urging residents to "please take into account these suggestions to help with safety on our roadways.
* As we move closer to winter, we will continue to see road conditions being less than favorable.
* The days are shorter and will continue to get shorter for the next three weeks.
* Remember to slow down as you travel on roadways with adverse weather.
* Even with automatic headlights, it is important to make sure your headlights are on.
* We live in a great outdoor area, but be cautious of wildlife in the roadway especially the multitude of deer in our area."