Deer traverses Center City, killed on Ben Franklin Bridge

Posted: May 02, 2014

After startling pedestrians in Center City and delaying PATCO trains on the Ben Franklin Bridge on Wednesday, a deer apparently headed to New Jersey was struck and killed by a motorist on the bridge.

Deer-vehicle collisions are more common in Pennsylvania than in any other state (about 115,000 last year, according to State Farm Insurance), but they're not everyday occurrences on the bridge.

The deer was first reported around Ninth and Chestnut Streets shortly after 9 a.m., according to social media reports.

The animal ran onto the bridge shortly before 11, headed toward New Jersey, and then jumped onto the PATCO tracks on the south side of the bridge, Delaware River Port Authority spokeswoman Fran O'Brien said.

At that point, PATCO halted its trains for five minutes while police tried to corral the animal.

"We're dealing with an emergency with a deer on the bridge tracks while continuing service," PATCO posted on its Twitter feed.

Service was affected for about 25 minutes.

About 11:20 a.m., the deer jumped back onto the highway portion of the bridge on the Philadelphia end of the bridge and was hit by a westbound car and killed.

The driver did not stop, "so this is now an open crash investigation," O'Brien said.

Vehicle traffic was affected for about an hour by the incident, she added.

"How did this deer walk through Old City?" she said. "Maybe tourists thought it was one of those reenactors."


pnussbaum@phillynews.com

215-854-4587 @nussbaumpaul

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