Tuesday night, a Roaring Fork Transportation bus and another private vehicle in the Roaring Fork Valley Community near Glenwood Springs, Colorado were involved in an accident that resulted in the deaths of 10 elk.
According to Aspen Daily News, Colorado State Patrol responded to a call at 9 PM that a wreck occurred on Highway 82, and when first responders arrived to the scene, they discovered 10 elk had passed due to the wreck, although there no human injuries.
No citations were handed out as it was believed that the crash was “animal caused.”
RFTA Communications Manager Jamie Tatsuno said there was damage done to the front of the bus, including the headlights, both windshields, body work, and the bike rack.
“The bus was traveling approximately 50 mph (speed limit 65 mph) in snowy conditions when a large herd of elk entered downvalley travel lanes from the median.”
“The bus was unable to avoid them and struck several elk.”
Three passengers and the bus driver were on board during the wreck, and another bus was called to rescue the passengers and the route was only delayed 20-30 minutes, according to Tatsuno.
Master Trooper Gary Cutler did not have much info on the second vehicle involved, but said there were no injuries, although the vehicle struck an elk and rolled.
The elk allegedly found their way to the Highway after making their way through a wildlife fence.
This has raised concern for the safety of both wildlife and human life, as it could’ve been a deadly situation for both parties.
A Facebook group called the “Roaring Fork Valley Wildlife Overpass Advocates” has garnered momentum, as they’re trying to brainstorm more ways to create overpasses for wildlife in the area.
This has been a true concern since 2019, as locals have been trying to find ways to construct overpasses.
Watershed Biodiversity Initiative Executive Director Tom Cardamone said:
“This has been on our minds. It is a concern because of the roadkill and the threat to human health and safety– and obviously the animals– but because it connects habitats and allows of the mixing of genes and the movement of animals, which is a healthy thing.
When I’ve talked to groups over the last couple of years, I’ll show some slides. And I get most excited about the wildlife overpasses because it’s tangible. They drive the highway frequently, they see the roadkill, they want to do something about it. So the political desire is there.”
You just hate to see it…
Fortunately, someone is looking to recover the meat from the deceased elk to give to shelters.