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Did a deer trigger the deadly crash of a New Jersey teacher?

You can never be too careful. Perhaps that is the lesson the death of a middle school teacher in New Jersey can teach us all. Police investigating the deadly crash have suggested that the accident may have been caused by a deer. Last week, we cautioned drivers throughout New Jersey to increase their awareness for the potential to deer crossing streets and highways.

This tragic crash serves as a reminder that while deer their greatest risk to drivers in predominantly rural areas frequented by hunters, early in the morning or late in the afternoon, the times of day when deer are most active. Her accident occurred just before 2:00 p.m. as she drove home from school, in heavily populated area of New Jersey. 

The police investigating the crash noted that she was not distracted by texting on her cellphone, as some speculation suggested. The authorities did not indicate if she was speaking on her phone, which may have been used hands-free via Bluetooth.

Questions have also been raised as to the fact the car exploded in flames. Such a fire was described as "highly unusual," and while the car, a Ford Edge, has not been recalled, other model years of that car have been subject to recalls for fuel leaks.

As we noted last week, swerving to avoid striking a deer may be more dangerous to a driver than hitting the deer. As this accident may show, losing control of your vehicle, running off the road and striking objects like trees can lead to devastating crashes. 

Nj.com, "Deer may have caused fiery crash that killed popular North Brunswick teacher," Anthony G. Attrino, NJ Advance Media, October 10, 2014

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