EWING — A deer strike was to blame for the closure of Route 29 on Monday morning.

Ewing Police said a car struck a deer on the northbound side of Country Lane around 5:50 a.m., blowing out a tire and causing the driver to lose control. The car drifted onto the southbound side and hit two other vehicles, including one that it struck head-on, police said.

Ewing Police vehicle (Ewing Police)

The driver of the first vehicle was injured in the head, ribs and shoulders and was found outside of his vehicle, police said. Arriving fire and rescue crews were not clear if he was thrown or crawled out of the vehicle and hospitalized.

The driver of the vehicle that was hit head-on had a broken femur and was also hospitalized.

Police did not disclose the identities of anyone involved with the crash.

The roadway was closed for more than four hours in both directions and reopened at 10:30 a.m. Traffic on surrounding roads was slow, with drivers trying to get around the delay.

According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, crews picked up 6,525 deer carcasses in 2016 — over 400 more than the year prior. Note that number only includes roads maintained by the state; counties and municipalities have their own pickup systems in place.

Deer pickups by county, 2016 (NJDOT):

  • Atlantic — 41
  • Bergen — 308
  • Burlington — 153
  • Camden — 83
  • Cape May — 2
  • Cumberland — 27
  • Essex — 69
  • Gloucester — 79
  • Hudson — 1
  • Hunterdon — 933
  • Mercer — 566
  • Middlesex — 479
  • Monmouth — 999
  • Morris — 686
  • Ocean — 249
  • Passaic — 120
  • Salem — 38
  • Somerset — 810
  • Sussex — 374
  • Union — 69
  • Warren — 439

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com. With prior reporting by Dino Flammia.