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Crash in Death Valley National Park Caused by Foreign Tourists Braking to Avoid Tarantula

A tarantula spotted crossing California State Route 190 in Death Valley National Park caused a crash between two Swiss tourists in a camper van and a Canadian motorcyclist.

On Saturday afternoon, the tourists in the camper van saw a tarantula crossing the road and braked suddenly.

The 24-year-old Canadian motorcyclist behind them did not have enough time to swerve away and collided with the back of the camper van, per a National Park Service release.

The motorcyclist, injured in the incident, was taken to a hospital in Pahrump, Nevada. The tarantula was unharmed, park officials said, and no injuries to the Swiss tourists were reported.

None of the three people involved were named by park officials.

“Please drive slowly, especially going down steep hills in the park. Our roads still have gravel patches due to flood damage, and wildlife of all sizes are out,” Death Valley National Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds, the first park employee to respond to the crash, said in a statement.

Fall is mating season for tarantulas. Mature males emerge from their burrows and seek mates. Some males are killed and eaten by the females after mating, while other males escape and die a few months later, park officials explained. Female tarantulas, on the other hand, can live to be up to 25 years old, mating multiple times in their lifetime.

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