Woman killed when deer crashes into windshield

A woman was killed when a deer hit by another vehicle crashed into her windshield along Cascade Road in Cascade Township on the evening of Nov. 20, 2017.

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A driver was killed in what deputies are calling a “freak accident” when a deer struck by another vehicle slammed into her windshield.

The crash happened around 5:50 p.m. Monday along Cascade Road near Quiggle Avenue SE in Cascade Township, southeast of Grand Rapids. The Kent County Sheriff’s Department said an eastbound vehicle hit the deer, which then struck a westbound vehicle.

Authorities said the eastbound driver called 911 and tried to help 49-year-old Susan Fries of Ada Township, but Fries did not survive.

The driver who initially hit the deer, a 23-year-old from Lowell, was not injured.

Neither speed nor alcohol are believed to be factors, the sheriff’s office said.

“Its just a freak accident,” Sgt. John Degroot told 24 Hour News 8. “It doesn’t appear that anybody did anything wrong.”

Fries was the second person in Kent County to die in a deer-related crash in a week’s time. On Nov. 13, an 18-year-old woman died after a deer crashed through her windshield, causing her to roll her vehicle.

Degroot said seeing deer cause crashes this severe is unusual. but he hopes the incidents serve as a reminder to drivers.

“The deer are moving around a lot more. It’s just a reminder for people to slow down, especially in these rural areas,” Degroot said.

Michigan State Police report there are some 50,000 deer-vehicle crashes in the state each year, with 80 percent those happening between dusk and dawn on two-lane roads. Monday’s crash happened a little more than half an hour after sunset.