Traffic accidents are on the increase in western Montana as wildlife are being struck by vehicles as they cross state and interstate highways.

Frenchtown Fire spokesman Mel Holtz said his crews have responded to several collisions in just the past few days.

"Over the last several days we've responded to two accidents involving animals," Holtz said. "In the latest one which was a rather large bull elk crossing the road, a semi-truck driver tried to avoid a collision and ended up rolling his truck onto its side. There's a lot of wildlife activity as it's a pretty major area around Nine Mile for animals, so we're definitely warning drivers to slow down and use caution in that area."

Holtz said once an animal has been killed on the highway, a new law makes it possible to harvest the game.

"In talking with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, they said there's a salvage tag you can go online and print out and, or purchase," he said. "So, if you do come upon a road-killed animal you can actually tag that animal, so that bull elk was claimed pretty quickly."

Holtz said crews were able to remove the semi-truck's windshield to remove the driver from the vehicle safely.