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Oh, deer!

Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

Somehow, I’ve been driving for 29 years and had never really hit a deer – until last Tuesday night. 

I’ve had deer hit me. I once had a doe run across the road in front of me and, after hitting my brakes, her fawn ran headlong into the driver side door. It knocked itself loopy for a second, but then it got up and ran back the direction it had come from, while its mother stood a few yards away in an empty lot staring at me. 

I had the same thing happen again earlier this year. It was around 5:30 in the morning and I was on the way to the post office with papers. Shortly after turning off of SR 504 onto SR 955 a whole herd of deer came sprinting across the road and, once again, braking and thankful I hadn’t hit one I had a full grown buck slam into the front fender. 

I’ve been in cars with other people who hit deer causing major damage too. 

Close calls like these are par for the course when you live in a rural area. I know some folks who rarely go more than a year without hitting a deer. 

I’ve even seen dead deer along the road side in downtown Austin, TX. 

In that context, I’ve been pretty darn lucky to drive as long as I have without ever having a significant accident involving a deer before now. 

I was honestly lucky on Tuesday night too, even though my car was totaled. 

I was doing around 55 or 60 mph on Route 7, heading toward home, when I saw a deer head and neck come into my field of vision off to my right. Before I could react, though, I’d hit it. The next thing I knew, everything went white – the airbag deploying – then black as the hood came to rest against the windshield. The next thing I knew I was wondering how I got wet and unfastening my seat belt to survey the damage. The wetness, it would turn out, came from the bottle of soda pop I was holding when I hit the deer. The airbag smashed the bottle into my face, breaking my glasses and covering me, and everything else in the car, in sticky droplets. 

The car was a total loss, but it could have been worse. I could have gone off the road and over the hill. I could have been on a less traveled road and had trouble getting help. Instead several people stopped, and one of them had a couple bars of cell service and was able to call my partner who loaded up the kids and came to pick up me – and last week’s papers. 

I could have had the kids with me. 

This was honestly my first thought when I came back to my senses after being punched in the face by a giant chemical gas balloon. “Thank God the baby wasn’t with me.” 

My second thought was that, if I’d stayed in Grayson to see if council took any action after executive session (they didn’t) I could have avoided an accident. My third thought, looking at the smashed front-end spilling a steady stream of washer fluid and coolant onto the asphalt, was that I was probably going to get a new car out of this. 

On the plus side, though, deer season is back in. All I have to do now is carry a loaded muzzle-loader in the back seat for the rest of the season. If my hunting luck holds, that will almost guarantee I won’t see another deer, at least until hunting season is over. 

Jeremy D Wells can be reached at 

editor@cartercountytimes.com

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