Hanford workers are being warned to slow down and watch out for elk after three collisions with the 500-pound animals near dusk Tuesday and before dawn Wednesday.
The latest accidents bring the total of elk and deer collisions on the nuclear reservation to six in November, according to Hanford contractor Mission Support Alliance.
One wreck killed a Hanford worker on a motorcycle.
On Wednesday, an elk was hit on Route 4 South in the center of the site at 12:26 a.m.
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Five hours later another elk was struck on Route 2 North, near the Columbia River and not far from the White Bluffs.
At the same place near the Columbia River, an elk was hit about 5 p.m. Tuesday.
During October and November the number of elk at Hanford can range from 375 to 700, according to the Department of Energy. And they can weigh 500 to 700 pounds.
The three earlier strikes were deer hit on Route 4 South near Energy Northwest’s commercial nuclear reactor on Nov. 4, 6 and 9.
All were hit at dawn or dusk.
The Nov. 4 collision killed Mikhaill “Mike” Stewart who was riding a motorcycle to his job at Hanford. He was wearing a helmet and was not speeding.
A GoFundMe site continues to raise money to help his family.
Information was not available on whether any of the other drivers were seriously hurt.
Last January also was a bad month for deer and elk collisions, with five recorded at Hanford.
Hanford workers are being warned this fall to be especially watchful at dawn or dusk when deer and elk are most active.
If they see deer or elk on the edge of the road, they should assume others are nearby.
Energy Northwest has advised its employees to watch for brake lights in vehicles ahead, as they may be slowing for wildlife.
It recommends sounding one long blast of a car horn to frighten an animal away and help it identify the source of the sound.