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BRACEBRIDGE Two Hamilton police officers and a prisoner are lucky they were not seriously injured — or worse — after a moose walked into the path of a cruiser on Highway 400.

The officer and the prisoner received minor injuries in the Monday night crash, but Ontario Provincial Police say the cruiser was a writeoff. The officer and prisoner were taken by ambulance to the Parry Sound Hospital. The hurt officer was on the passenger side of the cruiser.

“It could have definitely been worse,” OPP Constable Derek Wickett said Wednesday. “The moose just came onto the highway and stopped and they tried to manoeuvre around it. They were so close.”

He recalled a 29-year-old OPP constable was killed when his cruiser struck a moose near Bala in July 2005.

Diane Paquette, 54, of Hamilton, was killed in November 2011 when her car struck a moose on Highway 69, north of Parry Sound.

“It doesn't take much for a 1,200-pound moose to destroy a car,” said Wickett. “When you clip them on their legs, they just flip up onto the car. That's a lot of weight crushing down on the vehicle.”

The accident happened at about 8 p.m. on Highway 400, just north of Iroquois Cranberry Growers Drive. It's between Port Severn and MacTier, near Port Carling.

The cruiser was heading south when the moose walked into its path and the car hit the animal then a guardrail.

It is not known where the officers picked up the prisoner.

The Hamilton Spectator