U.S. Route 224 in Boardman has been the site of several accidents involving deer.
By SHERRI L. SHAULIS
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- During the weeks of late spring, Mahoning Valley roads can resemble a Christmas display gone amok.
Deer that normally live in Mill Creek Park and other heavily wooded areas become a little more daring, wandering along busy thoroughfares. And the great migration each year causes problems for area motorists.
Nikki Madick, dispatcher with the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Canfield, said the highway patrol has responded to 14 accidents in May involving deer. "In just the past week we had two or three," she said.
Madick said the calls handled by the OSHP occurred in all areas of Mahoning County, but the Boardman Township police department reports answering several calls of motorists striking deer, especially along U.S. Route 224.
Part of the problem is development along that stretch of land in the past several years. As more buildings and parking lots are constructed, it encroaches on the habitat of the animals, forcing them to find new homes and food sources.
"It's really not unusual for this time of year," Madick said.
Officials warn motorists to always be aware of their surroundings, but to pay special attention near woods. Animals can cross at any time of day but seem to be more prevalent at night, when traffic decreases.
And deer are not the only animals to watch for, though they are larger and more visible. Raccoons, squirrels, rabbits and other creatures are also attempting to cross roads.