BLAINE COUNTY, Idaho — A Washington man is now in search of a new vehicle after his van was completely engulfed by a fire that was started by a collision with a deer.
According to the Blaine County Sheriff's Office, the 59-year-old Bellevue man was driving northbound on Idaho Highway 75 in a red 1999 Volkswagen Eurovan.
At about 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, near milepost 103, which is just north of the junction of Highway 75 and Highway 20, the Eurovan collided with a deer that was crossing the highway, the sheriff's office said in a statement.
Officials said the impact of the van crashing into the deer started a fire that completely engulfed the vehicle. The car fire closed down both lanes of the highway. The van had to be towed away from the crash scene.
Both the man and the passenger were wearing seatbelts and neither suffered major injuries.
Sheriff Steve Harkins reminded drivers that wildlife is a major hazard on roads in rural counties like Blaine County.
"We are seeing more wildlife traveling down into the Wood River Valley from the backcountry because of drought conditions. Hitting an animal can cause significant vehicle damage or injuries to the occupants," Sheriff Harkins said in the statement.
The sheriff's office said the deer "scampered away" before first responders arrived at the scene.
"Please use extreme caution while driving in the early morning or evenings," Harkins added.
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