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WESTERLY — The police said a deer running across Route 78 caused an early morning crash on Wednesday that left a portion of the road closed.

Westerly police said a 36-year-old man from Uncasville, Conn., was driving a 2004 Toyota Highlander westbound along Route 78 near the Canal Street overpass just after midnight when the deer sprinted across the road. The driver told police he swerved right, hitting the guardrail, then overcorrected. The SUV turned onto the driver's side.

The man freed himself before officers arrived and declined medical attention. No violations were determined and the driver is not expected to face any charges, the police said.

The crash caused significant damage to the SUV, which needed to be towed. A portion of Route 78 was closed for about 30 minutes to allow for cleanup.

— Jason Vallee

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