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Tarantula Blamed for a Motorcycle Crash in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park officials say a tarantula crossing a road in the park may have caused a vehicle crash between tourists.

According to a press release, visitors from Switzerland in a camper van slammed on their brakes to avoid running over a tarantula. A Canadian man on a motorcycle then crashed into the back of the van.

An ambulance transported the motorcycle rider to the Desert View Hospital.

Park officials say the incident happened on CA-190 near Towne Pass. They say the crash is a reminder to drive slowly through national parks.

“Please drive slowly, especially going down steep hills in the park,” said Superintendent Mike Reynolds in their press release. “Our roads still have gravel patches due to flood damage, and wildlife of all sizes are out.”

gps outdoors.com

Tarantulas spend most of their lives living underground. However, in the fall, the spiders will travel for mating. Male spiders will die after mating and sometimes are killed by the mating female. On the other side, female spiders can live for 25 years. 

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  1. merwyn G. carlson

    while driving my 18 wheeler in southern California, I was traveling north west of LA on the 101 (I think) and above santa barbara area, I crossed over on a smaller 2 lane hiway that would connect me with the i-5 north…just a few miles onto that 2 lane road, I noticed something dark, like a huge blanket, but was moving gently across the road from north to south on this sunny afternoon…i slowed down to about 25 mph because I hadn’t seen anything like this before…when about 30-45′ from that big herd, I noticed it was a mass crossing of tarantulas…it was too late to stop, so drove right across that massive herd of T-Tlas….thumpty, thumpty, thumb was the sound from underneath the cab/engine area; all 18 wheels was doing damage to them but really, I didn’t want to be a mass murdering truck driver…for the next week at truck stops, I spent extra time with the hood open looking for any of those spiders that may have survived somehow the splattering of those furry little creatures…that was now about 20 yrs ago but could find it if I had to on a map as I live hallway across the country…..i noticed the field on the north was a low grass field, and the one on the south was very similar…my guess there had to be over 600-700 of them all moving in one group…anyone else ever encounter such an event??? it was a once in a lifetime for me…

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