A commercial truck driver from White City drove his vehicle off Highway 97 after it slammed into the back of a Chevrolet Tahoe while the driver braked to avoid hitting a herd of elk crossing near milepost 177, according to a news release.

A commercial truck driver from White City drove his vehicle off Highway 97 after it slammed into the back of a Chevrolet Tahoe while the driver braked to avoid hitting a herd of elk crossing near milepost 177, according to a news release.

Jean Tangsrud, 38, of Kenmare, N.D., had braked to avoid the elk herd when the truck, driven by 66-year-old Gene Albert, collided with the rear of her vehicle. Tangsrud was able to maintain control of her vehicle and stopped on the highway shoulder. Albert, attempting to steer to the left to avoid a collision, stopped partially off the highway.

His truck was towed because of front-end damage.

Both drivers and Tangsrud's passenger wore safety restraints and were not hurt.

Albert was cited for following too closely.

Law enforcement and Oregon Department of Transportation officials said the accident is a reminder of the potential dangers that animals crossing major highways pose to motorists.

Motorists should be attentive to the road, especially during darker times of the day, and exercise additional caution when driving in areas with special wildlife signs.