Gilbert Man Survives Crash With Elk


Mark McElvain’s Nissan Murano was totaled after a collision with seven elk Monday morning. All of the elk died and McElvain survived the crash with only minor bumps and bruises.

Mark McElvain’s Nissan Murano was totaled after a collision with seven elk Monday morning. All of the elk died and McElvain survived the crash with only minor bumps and bruises.

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Highway 260 looked like a war zone after a Gilbert man plowed through a herd of 15 elk Monday morning.

Seven bloody carcasses were strewn about the highway, some several hundred yards from the impact and two lodged well underneath Mark McElvain’s Nissan Murano.

McElvain said he was driving west from his Show Low summer home to his job in Scottsdale around 6:30 a.m. Monday when a herd of elk jumped in front of his car from out of nowhere.

“I was just coming around a curve and all of a sudden they were right there,” he said. “I could not tell how many I had hit, I just remember crawling out of the car.”

Initially, McElvain thought he had only hit two elk but after emerging from his SUV he realized he had hit several. The two he had first hit had lodged underneath the car, which McElvain speculates slowed his speed down, spinning his car around. The other elk were hit as he careened into the embankment.

When he hit the elk, McElvain said he was going 65 mph and had just reset his cruise control.

When he came around the curve near milepost 276 there was nothing in the roadway.

“When I hit them it was like boom!” he said. “I had no time to react, I don’t even think I put on the brakes. I am just amazed I got out of there.”

McElvain suffered minor bumps and bruises, but his car was totaled, said Sgt. T. Lincoln with DPS. Game and Fish officials came by and issued McElvain salvage permits for the elk. McElvain said several passersby stopped and took six of the elk.

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