What to do when you see animals cross the interstate

NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin State Patrol says one person suffered serious injuries Wednesday from a crash on Interstate 41 in Neenah after one of the cars involved stopped for a family of ducks. One car stopped in a traffic lane on the interstate near Breezewood Lane because the ducks were crossing the highway. Another car pulled onto the shoulder beside it. Then both were hit by a semi-truck.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation traffic engineer, Randy Asman, says quick thinking is a must when it comes to debris or animals on the interstate, but stopping is the last thing you should do.

"Keep an eye on your mirrors, know what's going on around you, then brake and most likely hopefully be able to change lanes into the lane next to you or on to the shoulder with probably the last resort stopping on the highway," said Asman.

The Federal Highway Administration says wildlife vehicle crashes occur most often in the spring and in the fall when animals are migrating, mating or when it's hunting season.

Asman says if you don't make a quick decision on the highway, it could cause a chain reaction affecting thousands of drivers on the road.

"I happened to be at my desk looking at the traffic cameras after this all had happened Wednesday, and within minutes traffic is backed up for thousands and thousands of feet, whatever it might be, you know, a half a mile to a couple miles," Asman adds.

Ducks aren't the only animals to be mindful of. On Wednesday the Shawano County Sheriff's Office posted a safety message asking drivers to "brake for turtles." People commenting on the post asked if they should stop on the interstate, even referencing Wednesday’s crash involving ducks. The sheriff's office agrees stopping on a busy interstate is not ideal, asking drivers to use common sense.

"It's not OK for us to hit animals, but at the same time you have to think about your safety, ultimately your safety, and if you stop on the roadway there's a good chance that something bad is going to happen behind you," said Asman.

Action 2 News reached out to the State Patrol but does not have information on what happened to the ducks.

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