Another Sentra bites the dust. We barely knew ye! I was driving home from work Thursday night; it was about 6 p.m. As I was about to pass the Lindon City park, a large deer seemed to materialize in front of my car. My guess is that it was bounding pretty fast across the road from the west. I was in the right lane heading north. I remember looking in my rear view mirror before this at a car that was driving a good 10 mph below the speed limit backing up people behind her. I don’t recall when I had my eyes in front of me again, but I think I was looking forward for some time as the other car had pulled over probably a quarter mile behind. At any rate, I had no time to react, as the first sight of the deer I had was in my headlights about 1 foot in front of my car.
In one motion a small explosion ejected the airbag, the hood was crumpled, and the deer which for a split second completely filled my field of view (it was as long as my car was wide) disappeared into the park (I believe—I didn’t see it again). My car had decelerated probably down to 20 mph or so and I heard the wheels rubbing the inside of the wheel wells and could see that my hood was damaged, so I pulled over into the shoulder. It took me a few moments to realized what had happened.
I collected myself enough to find the hazard lights and make a call to my insurance company. They told me to make a police report, so I called Lindon police department. I got a message saying something like, “This is Dan, leave a message.” Then I called 911 and Pleasant Grove dispatch answered. After a couple of questions ensuring I was ok (“What is your emergency?”) they put me through to Lindon police on priority.
Lindon’s dispatch sent a couple of officers by in a few minutes. While I was waiting I called Ana to let her know why I was late coming home (it was now about 15m after the accident); she dropped everything and came by. At this point the police came and asked how I was doing, checked the car out and said, “That was a big deer!” or something to that effect. I got out and looked at the front—incredible damage for hitting something made of meat.
The Lindon officers were friendly, asked for proof of insurance, drivers license, registration and went back to their car to file a report. One officer went to look for the deer, and another called a tow. Ana came by then and I had her park up on 200 N off of State so the tow had room. We transferred my skis and other gear out of the car into the van. The main officer gave me a case number and told an amusing story about his wife hitting a deer on I-15 some years ago. The tow came (Dan's Towing—did a good job) and dragged the car up and away everybody went.
That was a pretty good car for us: trouble free and easy for the kids to learn to drive. I’m not sure what to look for next… I think we may go with another inexpensive car for them to use first, and then perhaps in a few years we’ll find something better in the snow for me (Subaru or Audi—something with all wheel drive).
What is amazing to me is that I was in the precise spot as the deer at the same time. Had I driven just a little slower, or a little faster, hit a light differently, cut off or lengthened a conversation before I left work, it is possible—likely—nothing would have happened.
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them (Ecclesiastes 9:11–12).