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County employees having many accidents with deer, moose, say commissioners

HOULTON, Maine — In Aroostook County, encountering animals such as a moose and deer on the roadway is a fact of life.

But Aroostook County Commissioners on July 17 expressed concern about the number of County employees having accidents with wildlife during their workday travels.

“We had 13 [insurance] claims [filed] for Aroostook County over the past three years, and more than half of them were because the employee hit an animal on the roadway,” County Administrator Ryan Pelletier said during the commissioners’ meeting in Houlton. “They have hit deer, bear and moose.”

All of the counties in Maine are self-insured through the Maine County Commissioners Association, which provides property, casualty and liability insurance.  

Pelletier said that if there is damage to a county vehicle or a county employee has an accident in a vehicle assigned to them, they would file a claim with the association’s risk pool.

Commissioner Norm Fournier suggested that to reduce the number of accidents and better protect employees, Aroostook County should provide more education about defensive driving to its employees.

“Perhaps that can lessen the accidents,” Fournier said.

The commissioners took the matter under advisement but did not take official action during the meeting.

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