Car collision with a deer

www.BillHowell.ca 28Jul2013

Date: ~24:00 (midnight) Friday 26Jul2013
Car: GM Express 3500 van, 2007
Location : on the two lane 561 highway, just 900 meters West of the intersection with Highway 842 that goes South to Cluny, and roughly 15 km from my home town of Hussar.

I hit a deer crossing the highway when returning from a rodeo in Rockyford Alberta on Friday, 26Jul2013. It was midnight,and I was travelling East at 100 km/hour (I always use speed control for highway driving), when the deer came out of the North (left, driver's side) ditch of the road. The [weather, road, visibility] conditions were perfect, so they were not factors. It was midnight, so visibility was a bit reduced, but the deer was clearly visible to me. In spite of bright headlights and the noise the car must have been making, it just continued straight ahead at a run. This was strange for me - it was like watching an inevitable disaster happen. I wasn't going to take a chance at careening around the deer, so I plough straight through, hitting it with the left front of my van (driver's side). I slowed to a stop, but didn't see the deer and thought it had somehow survived and ran off. So I started picking up plastic vehicle front-end parts strewn over the road (headlight and turn signal plastic enclosures, and half of my plastic grill in pieces). Halfway through, I finally saw the deer lying absolutely motionless in the ditch on the side of the impact, clearly dead.

There was something sadly inevitable about the crash. The deer did NOT stop, starring and frozen on the highway. Instead, it kept looking straight ahead while it crossed the highway, doggedly continuing on a run, holding steady its direction and somewhat low to the ground as opposed to bounding up. Perhaps a combination of poor 3D vision and ancient evolutionary behaviour, neither well-adapted to fast approaching traffic, sealed its fate. Perhaps there has been sufficient behavioural change over the last 100 years that there is at least some improvement, after all, it didn't stop in the middle of the highway? (see my 2006 lunatic comments regarding Lamarckian, as opposed or more likely complimentary Mendelian, heredity, in the paper Howell 2006 - Genetic specification of neural networks, draft concepts and implications - many more comments to come "some day soon").

I was lucky that there wasn't a great deal more damage. Too bad that I wasn't prepared to recover good meat - it's a shame to let an animal go to waste (at least I've signed my organs over in case I die in an accident).

Hussar on the map of South-Central Alberta


Van - front end & pieces


Shortly after I bought it in 2008, the car was christined "Moby Dick" (just "Dick" for short) by Bertha in Ottawa. Aliases included "the Hookmobile" and "Hashmobile" in light of its intended use to ferry friends (several Ottawa "drinking clubs with a running problem") to long distance out-of-town events. Instead, Achilles tendon problems sidelined my running, and the main value-added of the van has been for house rennovations, storage, and moving. I'm really happy to have bought it, it's a wonderfull car and workhorse!

Ditch that the deer came out of (to the left where the shrubs are, before the van).


Video - Car hits & kills deer near Hussar
Note that the video player with my web browser doesn't work as well as another program on my computer. You may also have to open this link with video player that differs from your default web browser video application, if you see images that are fuzzy, or that appear in double with your browser viewing.

The video is raw, unprocessed and completely amateur, as I have only started taking videos. At least it's a start - as my previous video posting,
"14Feb12 Venus et Mars - au dela d'une histoire d'amour (video 240 Mbytes)", only consisted of still images (pictures taken from books, the internet, PowerPoint-like software, and graphics programs) and audio (music CDs, voice recordings).

Many more photos are available in a directory, accessible through the link below...


Directory of available files for this webpage: including pictures and the video.

www.BillHowell.ca/Personal/130728 Car collision with a deer.html
Versions :