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A deer wandered onto Highway 40 (Interstate 64) on Friday night, causing two drivers to stop and setting off a chain reaction accident that proved deadly, authorities said.

The Missouri Highway Patrol said a Maryland Heights woman was eastbound on the highway near Spoede Road about 7:45 p.m. when she stopped her vehicle, a Nissan Rogue, for the deer.

So did the driver of a Ford Escape, a woman from University City. As those cars stopped, the patrol said, a BMW driven by a Wildwood man hit the rear of the Nissan, which then struck the Ford Escape. 

The BMW then hit the median, and then it also struck the Escape, the patrol said.

The crashes killed a passenger in the Nissan. The patrol identified her as Giriza Srivastava, 75, who lived in India. The patrol said she was not wearing a seat belt. 

Two children, ages 5 and 7, and a man, 76, in the Nissan all suffered serious injuries and were taken to hospitals. One passenger in the BMW suffered minor injuries; the driver of the Escape also suffered serious injuries.

Amanda St. Amand is the digital editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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