Vehicle-moose collision Sunday night proves fatal
October 3, 2011
A 31-year-old woman from New Castle, Colo. was killed Sunday night when the vehicle she was in struck a cow moose on Interstate 70 near Frisco.
According to a news release from the Summit County Coroner’s Office, Tishe Marie Quintana was in a vehicle driving westbound on I-70 at approximately 7:30 p.m. when the incident occurred. Westbound I-70 was closed for about an hour following the accident.
The moose was killed in the accident, Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras said, adding that the meat was donated per protocol. He said a bull moose was in the area at the time, and officials presume he departed when the carcass was removed.
“It’s a very unfortunate incident … We feel very badly for this family,” Porras said.
“They’re in the rut right now,” Porras said, explaining that the increased activity of mating season may have contributed to the cow running into the road. They’re not the only ones, he said. Elk and deer are also in their mating season, and bears are in hyperphagia, or their feeding period prior to hibernation. All the wildlife activity, particularly among large game and mammals, can increase the risk of hitting something while driving, especially at night, Porras said.
“It’s something people need to heed, especially right now,” he said, adding that there are signs warning of wildlife crossing in the area where Sunday’s accident occurred.
“Moose are so big and so tall, there’s a good chance they can land on the driver’s compartment and cause a lot of damage,” Porras said.
He said the growing moose population in Colorado – as “one of the greater success stories of species reintroduction in the state” – could also contribute to the likelihood of encountering the beasts.
On Sept. 25, a young bull moose was hit and killed in a traffic collision in nearly the same spot, though it was on the eastbound side of I-70. The car was totaled but there were no injuries, District Wildlife Manager Sean Shepherd said. There have been six moose killed along Summit County’s road this year, including the two along I-70. Others have been Highway 9 both north and south of Silverthorne, Shepherd said.
Quintana was the passenger in the vehicle. The driver was taken to Denver Health Medical Center and was released with minor injuries, according to Colorado State Patrol trooper Nate Reid.