Saturday, May 12, 2007

Broadsided by a Deer

I'm still somewhat stunned by the days events.

It's the day before mothers day, so we went into nearby St. Helens to shop for Mothers Day gifts. We didn't find anything there so grabbed some lunch for the kids at Taco Bell and then headed down the road to see what we could find at Fred Meyers. We were headed down the highway at 60mph when we it happened ... a deer broadsided us.

Seriously. We didn't hit the deer, it hit us. I saw it in slow motion ... the realization that a deer had crossed 4 lanes of a busy highway and was right alongside our van. And the realization that, no matter what Brian did, it was going to hit us.

When it hit the far rear window on the drivers side - right next to Carissa - the impact was monumental. I didn't realize that something so small in comparison to our van could make that much of an impact. The sounds of the deer thumping into our van and the window glass shattering were deafening. Then came wailing from Carissa and screams from the boys.

Brian looked in his rearview mirror and simply said "your daughter". I looked in the backseat and saw her there covered in blood and screaming. As soon as the van stopped moving I jumped out of my seat and screamed at Brian to unlock the doors so that I could get to Carissa. I jumped in the back, unbuckled her and scooped her out.

She was covered in blood from her forehead to her thighs. She had a mouthful of food and was still holding her taco. She seemed disgruntled that I made her spit the food out and throw the taco away, but she did it nonetheless. She was starting to calm down and as soon as Brian told Carissa that it wasn't her blood on her but that it was the deer blood she stopped screaming. Somehow the idea of being covered in deer blood was much more appealing then being covered in your own blood. Go figure.

It was obvious once I started wiping the blood from her face that it was not, in fact, deer blood. As soon as I'd wipe the blood away it would return. And there was quite a lot of it. So we called an ambulance to come help. They took a while and cleaned her up, removed bits of glass and stopped the bleeding. They suggested we go to urgent care to have them look her over more completely.

We took Carissa to urgent care where they cleaned her up even more. She had 2 decent size gashes on her face - one on her chin and one on her jawline. They opted for some sort of glue and tape strip thing instead of stitching it, as stitches would leave scars. The rest of the cuts were minor.

Here's what Carissa looks like right now ...

The deer had made impact on the window about 3 inches from Carissa's head. The glass had shattered and cut every exposed portion of her upper body, which was a substantial portion as she had insisted on wearing a skirt and tank top today. She has glass cuts on her arms and upper legs, on her hands, between her fingers, on her face and even in her ear. She had glass cuts and seatbelt marks on her neck. She had glass on her head and in her hair. The worst was the left side of her face, which took all of the impact. She looks like a prizefighter after a long hard fight. She's sore and a little shaken up but overall she's doing well.

The deer, for obvious reasons, did not make. The most obvious sign of this is the chunk of deer still stuck to my van. EEEEEEWWWWWWW.

The inside of the van is covered in shattered glass and deer fur. Even Brian and I, way up in the front seat, got hit by glass. None of us got so much as a scratch from it, though all 5 of us are a bit shaken up. We're thankful though that we were driving our big sturdy van and not Brian's little commuter car. We're also thankful that the deer hit us and not the motorcycles right behind us, which would have had a much worse outcome. But more than anything we're thankful that Carissa is going to be okay.

It was a very scary day. We're all still trying to come down from the adrenaline rush of it all, but we're all going to be fine. The van will need a little work but in time it will be fine too.


Anita said...

Oh, geez! Poor girl! I'm relieved it was just scratches, it could have been so much worse. Hope she can overcome the fright quickly. I know she's got to be traumatized.

Catherine said...

What a scary thing to have happen, but I'm glad everyone is OK....hugs to Carissa!

Linda Sobolewski said...

Tell Carissa that she is such a brave little girl!!! I am so glad she is ok.

Linda said...

I'm happy to hear it wasn't worse. I can't imagine the fear of your youngest child, your beautiful girl, covered in glass and blood. How awful! Carissa's awfully brave. My love and hugs to you and her, and the boys and Brian, too!

Scraptastickat said...

OMGoodess girl how scary! Im glad Carissa is meding but YIKES... that had to of scared her to death!

Glad everyone is fine (except the deer) and that the van can be fixed.