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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 12, 2010, 08:46 AM

Collisions with deer becoming all too common

(WDAY TV) - In our part of the world, collisions with deer aren't anything new, but the accidents are becoming more and more common. As David Kerley tells us, in the past two years, there have been more than 2-million car-deer accidents in the U.S. He has more on a frightening accident that happened in the Twin Cities.

By: David Kerley, WDAY

Olivia Blake: "I was sitting in the back seat and my mom said "Deer!" and then I just blacked out."

Olivia Blake's face tells the story. The family trip to get pizza could have easily turned deadly when the deer was clipped by a car in the other lane, went airborne, and careened into their windshield. It hit everyone inside and blew through the back window, all the way though the car in just fractions of a second.

Susan Blake: “I actually saw it and I felt this rush of air and looked up and I saw it. We were all covered in blood which we found out later on was not necessarily ours.”

Her husband Chris is undergoing facial reconstructive surgery.

Mark Fahning/Minnesota State Trooper: "It's amazing that with a 100 pound object coming through the windshield that they weren't hurt worse."

But this is far from unusual, especially this time of the year. Drivers are three times more likely to strike a deer in November than any other month.

The reason: This is breeding season for deer and with the deer population increasing over the past several years, so have the number of collisions. In fact, in half the country, drivers have a medium to high chance of colliding with a deer.

Kim Hazelbaker/Highway Loss Data Institute: “What we see here are literally hundreds of thousands of claims that cost insurers hundreds of millions of dollars."

And lives lost too. About 200 people every year die after hitting a deer on the road. Which is why it's so amazing that with all the damage this deer did traveling through the entire car, the Blake's survived.

Deer travel in herds, so if you see one be cautious because there will likely be another in the area.

A Battle Lake man is shaken, but OK after a bizarre crash with a deer this week. It's not hitting the deer that was strange, but where it ended up that was something authorities said they've never seen before.

Jerry Nelson says in a blink, the deer came through the windshield. The head ended up underneath the dash and the hide was draped over the seat, and the rest of it ended up in the back seat. Nelson escaped without a scratch.

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