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Caltrans to Study Vehicle-Deer Collisions

Goal is protection of drivers as well as deer in wake of fatality on Highway 280.

Starting next month, game wardens with tranquilizer guns might be visible along Interstate Highway 280 in San Mateo County.

Caltrans is funding a study by the University of California at Davis to track deer movement in order to reduce deer-vs.-vehicle collisions along the Highway 280 corridor, state Department of Fish and Game spokeswoman Janice Mackey said.

Biologists from the DFG and UC Davis will be in the Woodside area between Dec. 2 and Dec. 11, aiming to put radio collars on 15 deer that will help track their movements in the area over an 18-month period, Mackey said. Some deer will be trapped and others will be shot with tranquilizer dart guns.

The California Highway Patrol is alerting motorists that some of the trapping activity might be visible from the highway, which runs along vast tracts of open space, including the San Francisco State Fish and Game Refuge. The radio collars will automatically fall off the animals after about six months, and another set of 15 deer will be collared for a second phase of the study, according to the DFG.

The goal of the study is to protect the regional deer population as well as safeguard drivers.

On Sept. 22 at 8:10 p.m., a San Jose man suffered fatal injuries in a crash that occurred after his car hit a deer on Highway 280 near Alpine Road, according to the CHP. Daniel Strickland, 27, stopped on the highway after the collision with the deer and was then struck from behind by another driver who didn't see his car. Strickland was taken to Stanford University Hospital, where he died from his injuries on Sept. 23.

-- Bay City News Service

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