Victim of fatal Bel Air crash involving deer identified

An Aberdeen man died in a motor scooter accident involving a deer north of Bel Air late last week.

Robert Fulton Kleinhen, 68, of Aberdeen, was riding his 2007 Vespa Piaggio scooter north on the Bel Air Bypass around 11:35 a.m. Friday, when a deer ran in front of him, according to a Maryland State Police accident report.

Mr. Kleinhen's scooter overturned and collided with the "median curb," the report stated.

The accident happened on the Route 1 Bypass just before the entrance ramp to Route 24 (Veterans Memorial Highway) and north of where Route 1 crosses over Tollgate Road.

State Police and the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company responded. Mr. Kleinhen was "suffering from grave injuries," according to a report posted on the Harford County Md Fire & EMS PIO Media Page on Facebook Friday.

The victim was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was later pronounced dead, State Police said. His name was not released earlier, pending notification of his next of kin.

State Police Cpl. Krysiak of the Bel Air barrack said the north and southbound lanes of Route 1 were closed for several hours Friday.

Mr. Kleinhen was the third person involved in a major traffic accident involving a deer in Harford County during the past eight months.

In mid-November 2012, Pablo Jimenez Velazquez, 56, of Glen Arm in Baltimore County, died after the body of a deer came through the windshield of a dump truck he was riding in, that was traveling west on Route 23 (East-West Highway) in Forest Hill, close to the Morse Road overpass. The deer had been hit by a vehicle traveling the opposite way on Route 23, The Aegis reported.

Mr. Velazquez was the 20th person to be killed on Harford County roads in 2012, a year when 31 people died in traffic accidents, according to The Aegis.

In March, James Fisher, 45, of Jarrettsville, was seriously injured while riding his motorcycle south on Route 24 (Rocks Road) in the Forest Hill area. The accident happened around 3:30 p.m. on March 10, near the intersection of Route 24 and Grier Nursery Road, according to The Aegis.

Fisher was flown to shock trauma.

One resident of the area called the accident a "freak" incident.

"You are always wary of deer at nighttime, but to see them crossing the road during the day is very, very rare," neighbor Roy Batton told The Aegis. "It's just a freak [incident], I think. You never would expect that."

Sgt. Marc Black, a spokesman in the State Police's Pikesville headquarters, urged motorists to be aware of their surroundings.

"We just want to stress that motorists, either [of] cars or motorcycles, operate their vehicle as safely as possible," he said Tuesday. "Know that deer travel day or night, and they tend to travel in groups, so if you see one deer along the side of the road please be aware that there may be others."

Black said that when traveling along roads with marked deer crossings, drivers should use their high beams when safe to do so, and reduce their speeds "to make sure you are able to travel through that area safely."

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