by Ellen Cronin
A Massachusetts woman and her 3-year-old son escaped injury, but the car they were in was seriously damaged by a run-in with a moose over the holiday weekend.
In the wake of this latest accident, Franconia police are joining their counterparts in the North Country and Northeast Kingdom in warning motorists: May is a high-risk month for moose crashes, so drivers need to be cautious, especially at night.
One of the most recent serious crashes occurred Sunday night on Route 3 in Franconia, about two miles south of the Bethlehem town line. That section of highway is flanked by marshes on either side and has recently developed a reputation as a risky spot because moose are attracted to new lush green plants in the marshes.
According to Franconia Police Officer Bruce McKay, Laura Jones, 29, of Halifax, Mass., was headed north in a 1991 Toyota Tercel when she noticed an oncoming motorist flashing headlights in warning.
Jones slowed down, but didn't see the moose until it was too late. The impact knocked it off its feet and onto the top of the car, collapsing the windshield and a section of roof. Jones narrowly missed injury, as did her son, asleep in the back seat.
The animal ran off into the woods; authorities were unable to determine what happened to it after the crash.
"There's an enormous amount of moose activity on Route 3 lately, and (Interstate) 93, too," McKay noted. "And there's been problems with deer getting hit left and right. People need to be on the lookout."