Last night I hit a deer at about 40 miles per hour in a densely populated suburb. I’m not sure if I saw it first or simply heard the sound of the deadening collision first, but either way there was no chance for me to swerve, break or otherwise react. All I could do is shout, "Oh (shucks)!," quickly slow down, and pull off the side of the road. After colliding with my driver-side headlamp, bumper, wheelwell and hood, the poor animal was launched 8 feet to the road’s opposite shoulder. The deer’s untimely end seemed immediate.
- The overpopulation of deer is a huge problem. While some animal-rights activists seek to greatly restrain hunting and birth control methods, each night deer die cruel and painful deaths on our roads and highways, and countless people suffer injuries and financial hardships from collisions with deer. Our cities and suburbs should pursue effective methods to reduce the deer population to keep both animals and people safe.
- About 20 minutes after the accident, while a police officer was writing the accident report, a pick-up truck pulled over. Out stepped a young woman in a prom dress. "Did she need the police?" I wondered. "Perhaps she saw the police car’s lights and decided that she needs to get away from an abusive or drunk prom date. That’s it. She was driving down the road and stopped her truck to get away from her good-for-nothing boyfriend. Good for her," I thought. "Is the police officer around?" she asked. "Yes, he’s over there writing up an accident report. I just hit a deer." Without any other words or expression, she walked straight to the police officer’s SUV. Moments later she came back to me, "Are you alright, sir? I’m an EMT. Any pain, headaches, backaches, pains anywhere?" I replied, "No, but thanks for asking." "Alright. Have a good night, sir," and she walked back to her truck and she was off to continue her prom night. The police officer later explained that Pennsylvania EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) are required by law to stop at the scene of any accident they witness or happen upon, whether or not they are on duty. Thus our EMT in a prom dress was simply doing her job. How wonderful. Thank you.
- The end of this story could have been very different had the deer hit my door and window, or worse yet – had the deer hit the driver-side rear door and window, where my 2-year old daughter was sitting in her car seat. I’ve heard of situations where deer have crashed through windows, greatly injuring people in the car.
I’m just thankful that my daughter and I are alright, and grateful for the service of the police and EMT in a prom dress. What a night.