Moose caused car accident Friday

WILTON — In the early hours of Friday morning, a driver on Route 31 struck a moose, killing the animal and leaving the driver with minor injuries.

At approximately 7:16 a.m. on Friday, Wilton police responded to a motor vehicle accident on Route 31 South, where Tara Turcogeorge, 42, of New Ipswich, was traveling north when a large female moose ran into the road directly in front of her 2006 Chevrolet. Turcogeorge was unable to stop in time and struck the animal with her car, killing it.

Turcogeorge was transported to the Monadnock Community Hospital by the Wilton ambulance with minor injuries. Her vehicle was totaled and had to be towed from the scene.

April is just the start of the season when it comes to accidents involving moose, advises the N.H. Fish and Game website. Each year, there are roughly 250 moose-related vehicle accidents in New Hampshire, according to Fish and Game, and the early morning hours between the months of April and November are when moose are the most active.

Early spring, when yearlings have just separated from their mothers, and moose are attracted to roadways as a source of salt licks caused by winter road management, and fall, during mating season, are when most accidents occur.

Moose are hard to see at night and during dimly-lit hours, Fish and Game’s website advises. Moose are approximately six feet tall at the shoulder, so headlights often only illuminate their legs, which match the color of the pavement and are difficult to see. Moose also lack “eye shine” that can help drivers spot animals on the road, because although their eyes reflect light, headlights do not reach high enough to reflect off of them.

Because moose are such tall animals, coupled with the fact that the average moose weights 1,000 pounds or more, it generally means that when a moose is struck by a vehicle, it usually falls on the car’s windshield and roof, injuring or killing occupants or the car.

New Hampshire Fish and Game advises drivers to stay alert at all times, not just during the high points of dawn and dusk. Since there is a correlation between speed and the severity of an accident, they also advise not to drive more than 55 miles per hour and to take basic safety precautions such as wearing a seatbelt, scanning the sides of the roads, using high beams when possible, and stopping your car to wait until a moose has crossed the road, rather than assuming that it will stop or not enter traffic.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari.

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