A deer darting across I-83 near Old York Road early Thursday caused a chain reaction crash that involved three tractor-trailers and halted traffic on the highway throughout the morning rush hour. All lanes were reopened by 9 a.m., according to Maryland State Police.

The driver of a northbound tractor-trailer swerved to avoid the deer at about 3:30 a.m. He lost control of the semi rig, destroyed the guardrail and went through the median into the southbound lanes. There, he hit another tractor-trailer head-on. The driver of the southbound truck was trapped and had to be extricated.

Another truck, approaching the scene from the south, saw the crash too late to stop and clipped the rear of the second vehicle.

"It is an extremely dark area of I-83," said Sgt. Marc Black, MSP spokesman. "A good samaritan stopped to help the victims and put up flares. Everything southbound has been blocked since the crash."

All three drivers were taken to area hospitals. None suffered life-threatening injuries, police said.

Mary.gail.hare@baltsun.com

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