"When we backed my vehicle away and actually finally opened the door, a full-on deer was sitting underneath his steering wheel shaft," said an eyewitness
A driver had a lucky escape following an unexpected encounter with a deer.
A deer fell from a highway overpass on New Jersey’s Route 3 into a car on Route 21 on Wednesday, breaking the car’s windshield and landing in the driver’s lap, police told WABC-TV.
The impact from the deer caused the car to strike a concrete barrier and crash into another vehicle traveling southbound, police also told the outlet.
Jasper Cordero told WNBC that he had been driving south on Route 21 in New Jersey just before 8 a.m. when the car in front of him suddenly stopped after a collision.
"Our vehicles stop. I'm facing him, the driver, and he’s looking out the window. And all I see is this green stuff all over his body. I thought it was a Starbucks matcha tea or something and he spilled on himself. But that’s not the case — and I also noticed some blood,” Cordero told the outlet.
"I wasn’t hurt, I was able to get out of my car. He was traumatic — not sure what had happened. He kept saying he thinks he hit something, he wasn’t sure," he added.
Cordero told the outlet that he and another person went to the driver’s seat to help pull him out. They were still unaware of what had happened until they finally looked inside the car.
"We started helping him wipe off, call the police. And when we backed my vehicle away and actually finally opened the door, a full-on deer was sitting underneath his steering wheel shaft," Cordero said.
Photos obtained by the outlet showed the car’s windshield on the driver’s side completely shattered and busted in. The deer, which appeared to have died from the impact, lay on the floor of the driver’s seat.
"Out of nowhere — not like he hit something out of nowhere — it was literally, boom, there," Cordero told WNBC.
"I feel really bad for that guy. I can only imagine what a traumatic experience it was,” he added. “If that deer would’ve been positioned in any other way, maybe the hoof’s in a different direction, that would’ve easily impaled him."
Police told WABC-TV that the driver only suffered minor injuries from the incident.
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The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has previously warned motorists to drive with extra caution in the fall as that is the mating season for white-tailed deers. The DEP warned that deers are “more likely to suddenly enter roadways,” especially during early-morning hours and around sunset.
“Deer are involved in thousands of collisions with motor vehicles in New Jersey every year, most of which occur during the fall mating season,” New Jersey Fish & Wildlife Assistant Commissioner David Golden said in a statement last year.
He added, “We urge all drivers to be especially alert to the possibility of deer suddenly darting onto roadways, as well as know how to reduce the risk of a collision and possible serious injury to themselves, their passengers or others.”
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