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Why you don’t swerve for animals; ducks cause 4-car injury collision

Washington State Trooper Guy Gill reminds that while we'd love to avoid hitting them, risk of injury increases when you swerve to avoid animals in the road. (AP Photo/file)

One man remains hospitalized and two cars were totaled in a 4-car injury collision apparently caused by drivers’ response to two ducks in the middle of the freeway.

The accident report from the Washington State Patrol says a number of vehicles slowed to avoid striking the two ducks that were midway through the southbound lanes of I-5 at Tumwater on Saturday.

“Drivers tried to miss ducks and collided,” said a tweet from the Washington State Patrol. “We love animals but there were serious human injuries.”

While no one likes to think about hitting an animal, Washington State Trooper Guy Gill says in cases of animals in the road, they see more injuries when people swerve to avoid them.

“This is one of those instances where swerving to avoid two small animals, ducks that were in the roadway, caused a four-car collision and sent multiple people to the hospital, including one airlifted with serious injuries,” says Gill.

“Best practice, when an animal enters the roadway, don’t swerve to avoid it,” says Gill. “If you can straight-line brake, then do so. If not, strike the animal.”

In this case, regardless of the drivers’ efforts, the ducks were still hit.

“Unfortunately, the ducks were struck and did not make it,” says Gill.

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