As some of you know already, I have just started doing the afternoon shift at my work this week, replacing a friend who had to get an small surgical alteration done, and is now on medical leave for the next three or four weeks. So, my new hours mean that I start at 5:00pm in the afternoon, which translates into having to drive through late afternoon traffic. I had forgotten how much I hated rush-hour. Anyway, yesterday I came cementers from driving off the road because I almost had an head-on collision with a deer crossing the road. To be quite honest, I am not sure if I had contact with the animal or not.
What had happen was, I was just making a long corner by West Creek on River Road in North Langley Township, when out of now where, from the bushes along the hill, came darting, up and over across the road, a deer at full speed. The animal had jumped from the ditch, and landed in the middle of the road, in just a fraction of a second. I estimate that the distance that it jumped was about five metres; quite a lot, in my opinion. Then it made another leap trying to reach the other side of the road, towards the river.
It was at the point that the deer landed from its jump in the middle of the road that I seen it; slammed on my brakes; and tried to swerve to avoid it. It happened so fast. When I came to a stop, along the edge of the road in the other lane, automatically sped back to the other lane becuase I knew how busy this stretch of road is. When I parked on the right side of the road, with in seconds another car came around the corner in the on coming lane. As for the deer, there was no sign of it at that point in time.
When I looked back to where the deer came from, that was when I seen a younger deer, about half the size of the one that leaped in front of me, standing there, also getting ready to jump across the road. I though, “Oh great, another accident waiting to happen.” It was at that point that I looked back and seen the mother deer waiting just behind the alder bushes; she was calling for her young one to cross the road. I just shook my head.
When I assumed that the mother deer was OK (that I did not injure her), I started to drive off.
It was then that I heard sound of screeching brakes coming from behind me. When I looked in my rear view mirror to see what was going on, I saw that smaller deer darting across the road. The young animal had just narrowly missed an small car that just made the same crossing as I did moments before. Though this time, the small deer lost its footing when it tried to change direction on the pavement. It tumbled, landing on its side, all the while kicking franticly all four of its little legs trying to gain traction on the smooth road surface. That was when the mother came running back to the middle of the road.
With both animals on the road behind me, in the same lane as I am in, the little car which also stopped on the other side of the road, swerved in front of the mother deer, as the driver tried to steer back on the right side of the road. This time, I seen the small car hit the mother deer–just enough so that the mother deer bounced back about a metre, but managed to stay on all four legs. It was a very slow velocity collision. I am sure that neither car, nor animal were damaged from that contact.
With a flash, both animals were gone. As for myself, it took me a while to collect my thoughts and drive off. It was about the same for the driver of the other vehicle as well.
This now marks the third indecent that I have had this year with deer collisions on River Road. This was by far the closest I have had as far as actually hitting an animal–though not fully sure if I had actually made contact with the animal or not. I have not actually hit a large animal yet so far since I have lived here. My speed was at the posted maximum, 60Kmh, and it was in the middle of the afternoon. One wonders if there is nothing more that can be done to avoid these road crossing collisions, or not.