Drivers Cautioned After 2 Elk Killed On I-17 Near Flagstaff

Published: Thursday, July 16, 2015 - 1:26pm
A sign warns of elk on an Arizona highway.

Drive along Interstate 17 in northern Arizona and you’ll likely see diamond-shaped yellow signs with an elk stamped in the middle. The signs are meant to warn drivers that elk could unexpectedly cross the road. Despite warnings, accidents still happen.

On Wednesday, two elk were hit and killed within an hour of each other on a stretch of I-17 near Flagstaff.

The driver in the first collision was unharmed. But, according to the Arizona Daily Sun, the driver of the second accident was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Flagstaff fire officials are reminding drivers to be vigilant, especially at night and in the early morning when wildlife tend to roam near highways. An average adult elk weighs between 600 and 800 pounds and can cause serious damages and injuries.

"So when a passenger car has a collision with an elk, typically what happens, they hit them lower in the legs, forcing the elk up over the hood and into the windshield, which just destroys the car and certainly can be fatal for the passengers," said Flagstaff Fire Department Captain Kevin Wilson.

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