Wife of semi driver killed in crash with deer encourages hunters - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Family of semi driver killed in crash with deer encourages hunters

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A semi driver from Wisconsin was simply doing his job when a deer crossed in front of him and came careening through the front windshield. Now, his family hopes deer hunters can decrease the risks on the road.

Those who knew Jake Haas never imagined an animal would take away the organizer who loved his family, God and semis.

"He was very proud to be able to get his CDL and drive for Jennie-O," Dana Haas recalled. "They were gracious enough to give him that opportunity."

He was driving one of his routes last week, and his family never imagined he wouldn't make it home.

"I was really confident I would never get that call. My dad has been a semi driver over the road since I could remember," Dana Haas explained. "I know most semi drivers walk away."

Jake Haas loved his work so much that Jennie-O vehicles lead the funeral procession for him as his coworkers also came to support the family and mourn the loss.

"Knowing my brother, he doesn't want us moping around," Jed Haas said. "He'll want me to hold my head up high."

Jed Haas is one of five boys in the family, and the he also had a sister that grew up with them on a Barron County farm.

"You could always depend on him, and he was great at what he did on the farm," Jed Haas said.

Dana Haas is grateful her extended family has surrounded her during her most difficult days as she works to support her son and the Jake's son and daughter.

"He tremendously loved his family, his children -- blended family we created," she said.

Barron County has seen more than 100 deer-car collisions in November alone. That's something the Haas family hopes drivers keep in mind, especially as they set out on long Thanksgiving treks.

"There was no time for Jake," Dana Haas warned. "He didn't brake. There was no time to react."

While drivers keep a watch out for deer, Dana Haas also has a simple request for the hunters who still have tags to fill.

"All the deer hunters, get out there," she said. "Get as many as you can. All I said all week, 'Get as many as you can.'"

Haas believes the fewer deer there are, the safer all drivers will be on the road. She also believes that God decided it was her husband's time to go.

"God decided," she said. "There's nothing we can do."

She's also grateful for the support and generosity she's received, and investigators are still working to determine why the deer crashed into the cab.

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