BANGOR, Maine — Two law enforcement officers struck moose while driving in separate accidents earlier this week, and the spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety is reminding motorists to stay alert for the animals.
The first cruiser-moose crash, which was captured on video, took place about 4 p.m. Tuesday on Route 163 near Ashland, when Trooper Timmy Saucier struck a 1-year-old bull moose, spokesman Stephen McCausland said Friday.
The impact threw the animal over the hood and into the windshield of the car, showering Saucier with glass, according to McCausland.
McCausland said Saucier wasn’t injured in the crash but his police cruiser had more than $4,000 in damage.
He said Saucier had to shoot the moose to put it out of its misery.
McCausland added that the timing of Saucier’s accident was unusual because most moose collisions take place at night.
Two days later, a Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy struck a moose in Casco, McCausland said.
A Cumberland dispatcher said Friday that the accident in Casco occurred about 4 a.m. Thursday, when Deputy Cory Plummer struck a moose on Route 302, across from Hams Hill Road.
She said the deputy was not hurt but his cruiser had about $2,000 in damage. The vehicle still could be driven after the crash, she said.
“Obviously, folks in [Aroostook] County are used to it, but the point is, no matter where you are in Maine, moose are on the move,” McCausland said Friday.
He said motorists north of Bangor should be particularly vigilant because that’s where most of the moose in Maine live. He added, however, that drivers statewide should watch for moose, especially at night, when moose are active and are hard to see because of their dark brown fur.
“If a crash is imminent, try to hit it so that the moose’s weight veers away from the vehicle’s passenger compartment,” McCausland said. He said that in most moose crashes that result in fatalities, the moose’s bulk is thrown over the hood and into the passenger compartment, where it can crash through the windshield or crush the roof.
“It’s a split-second decision,” he said, but one that can save lives.