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Trooper hurt in Mid-Missouri car crash on Hwy. 63

ABC 17 News confirmed a Mid-Missouri trooper was hurt in a crash around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday just north of Moberly.

Trooper Tyler O’Brien, 26, was behind a car in the northbound driving lane on Highway 63, Sgt. Brent Bernhardt with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. Witnesses say the car slowed down suddenly to avoid an animal in the road, before the patrol car hit the other car from behind.

The driver, Bradley Freidel, 55, was flown to the hospital with moderate injuries, and the trooper was taken in an ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia, also with moderate, non life-threatening injuries.

In 2013, there were more than 4,300 animal-involved crashes statewide, according to the highway patrol. More than 400 people were hurt in those crashes.

“This time of year we do see a lot of animals that are crossing the roadways,” Bernhardt said. “And as drivers we need to use extra caution to understand that we’re gonna have to be alert for what’s standing next to the roadway.”

Troopers investigate the highest number of animal-involved crashes in the fall due to harvest and deer mating season, Bernhardt said.

Wednesday afternoon, Trooper O’Brien had been treated and released from University Hospital, according to hospital officials. Freidel remains in the hospital in fair condition.

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