‘Deadliest spot’ claims moose Christmas Eve
By Emma Breysse, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Date: December 29, 2012
A Christmas Eve car wreck claimed the life of a local moose on a stretch of highway conservationists say is the “deadliest spot in Teton County” for wildlife.
The driver reported the wreck to Jackson police after a moose walked onto Broadway from the area around Virginian Lane too quickly for her to stop.
The stretch of Broadway between Virginian Lane and the five-way intersection claims more wildlife per year than any other in Teton County, said Trevor Stevenson, executive director of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance.
Jackson Police officers and Teton County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the wreck.
The moose briefly lay unconscious in the middle of the highway while officers waited to see if it was critically injured, said Teton County Undersheriff Bob Gilliam.
When the moose woke up, it tried to stand, but it fell each time, Gilliam said.
“It was obvious the hindquarters were damaged,” he said. “It would not have survived on its own in the officers’ opinion.”
A deputy put the moose down. Wyoming state troopers arrived on the scene soon thereafter, said Lt. Tom Kelly of the Highway Patrol.
The driver was heading toward downtown on Broadway, traveling at around 25 miles per hour, Kelly said. She did not receive any citations, but the accident resulted in $1,500 worth of damage to her car, he said.
“It’s just a good reminder that you get wildlife in town, too,” Kelly said. “It just walked out in the road in front of her, and she didn’t see it.”
Stevenson said the alliance is working to get wildlife crossing markers up in the area. He said negligence probably isn’t to blame in most such wrecks in that spot.
“That area is our No. 1 priority for getting a wildlife crossing there,” he said. “This is a major wildlife corridor. More than 50 animals a year, mostly deer, are killed in accidents there.”
The Highway Patrol took the moose carcass away since the wreck occurred on a state highway.