Friday, November 2, 2012

The Deer Incident

Today is the day - It's kind of an eventful day, I guess - There are a few memories that always come to my mind on this day. It's the first day I spent at the IBLP Headquarters, in 1997 - It's also Mr Gothard's birthday (so for any in the know about that whole scene, it was weird first day:-). It's also the wedding anniversary of our dear friends Josh & Heather. This trip down memory lane is courtesy of their wedding, which took place in Georgia on November 2nd, 2002.

(Brian and I started our official relationship about 4 weeks before this "incident")

Brian and his buddy Ben drove down to GA, Brian was a groomsmen in the wedding. They took a detour on the way down from NY and stopped in Washington DC for a little sight seeing. This was literally at the exact time that the DC sniper was randomly shooting and killing innocent people, so I was not thrilled about their stopping there. They made it to GA safely.
Ben & Brian - on another road trip in April 2003

I drove from Toronto to Buffalo and flew down to Atlanta, and met them there. The wedding was great. Good times, great friends...and we had to get back home for work. We left the evening of the wedding, with plans of making it all the way too Philadelphia, where we would stay the night with our other good friend Cassy (and her almost finance Luc was in town too:-)

We took turns driving Brian's Lexus: It was my turn around 1am. We were on the highway going through Raleigh, NC, at that time.

This was Brian's car at the time, his beloved Lexus
I was driving pretty fast, in an effort to make good time. I was keeping it about 75mph. - which was speeding, but only a little. I was driving in the left hand lane, since I wasn't going slow - but there were few cars on the road at that hour.

The concrete median dividing the highway was about 5 feet tall, right beside us. Ben is laying down and sleeping in the back seat. He will drive next. Brian, coming off his long driving stint has just fallen asleep in the front passenger seat.

A deer, in a valiant effort to cross the road, landed his high jump with superb talent. Unfortunately RIGHT in front of my car, in my lane. I instantly saw him, and hit him.

This is were my driving skills may be both praised and cursed. I am an excellent driver. Don't let Brian tell you otherwise.

As soon as hit him, I actually thought the car was on fire. The smoke was from two things in fact - I literally stopped the car within feet of the impact, all while keeping in my lane. Since I stopped on a dime, quite literally, the brakes and tires were smoking and it smelled like burning rubber outside of the car.

Also, I was hit in the head with an anvil airbag. I don't think this is the case any more, but I was told in those older models, airbags were released using jet fuel or something. Anyway, the ENTIRE car was filled with a thick smoke that stung your lungs to breathe in. You couldn't see any thing, literally.

So in that instant - I thought the car was on fire. Not wanting to explode in a fire-y gas ball, I shut off the car. I also, just as a reflex, turned off the ignition with one hand and shut off the lights with the other hand.

My driving skills may be just fine. My critical thinking skills may be slightly called into question. But remember - I just got punched in the face with an anvil. That is a good excuse.

This all happened in a milli-second of course. Both boys were WIDE awake and yelling at me about hitting the median or falling asleep or something. I just kept saying "I hit a deer! I hit a deer! I saw him, I saw him, it was deer!" They did not believe me. Then it was TURN ON THE CAR. We were in the middle of the highway, just sitting there with no lights on, waiting to be run over by a semi. They opened the doors on the car to let some smoke out (they couldn't see either), and we drove across the four lanes to the shoulder and hopped out.

You hit the median! No I didn't, it was a deer, I promise, it's...right there. A-ha! I had stopped the car so instantly, that the dead mangled deer was pretty close to directly across the street from us:-)

The car was leaking fluid, so we called the insurance company, and the police came, and called for a tow truck and everything. It took awhile before the tow came, and I got to sit in the warm police car, while the boys had to shiver out in the cold.

We knew a bunch of people from Raleigh, unfortunately, they were all still down in GA at the wedding :-( The tow truck driver drove us to apparently the only hotel in the area. It was a Ramada. And it was $300+ per night per room. HELLO. It was 3am already. There was no way we could afford to pay $600 for 2 rooms for only half a nights sleep. So we got one room with 2 queens, and the boys shared a bed.

I was really nervous that my parents would be mad about the shared hotel room, but was hoping they'd understand, given the situation and circumstance, and didn't want to call and wake them at 3am, since no one was hurt. (They were fine with our decision, by the way:-)

After checking into the hotel, the boys were talking with the tow truck driver, making arrangements for the car repairs, and I needed to go to the bathroom, so I used the hotel lobby one. To my horror my face was COVERED in blood. My nose was HUGE, my cheeks were RED (I got like a chemical burn of some sort on my face & chest), there was blood everywhere. I was SOOOOO mad at both Brian and Ben. At this point, I have seen them, the police, the tow truck driver, and checked myself in (I paid and put the room in my name - I was the only one of the three of us with a credit card, lol!) with the clerk at a fancy hotel - and no one thought to mention to me that I looked like a bloody wreck.

There wasn't *much* I could have done about it, but I definitely could have cleaned up the blood. How disgusting is that?! I couldn't imagine interacting with someone in that condition, and here I was that someone :-/ You'd think the hotel would have given me a discount, given my obvious state:-)

So we head upstairs and collapse into bed. Adrenaline had pretty much worn off for me by then, I was exhausted. The airbag completely bent/mushed my glasses, so I re-bent them. It tore my thumbnails off, as I had both hands on the wheel, and long nails. It sheered them clean off, as though I'd cut them as short as I possibly could - but they were completely smooth, so weird. Exhausted, I washed my still a little bit bloody face and slept in my clothes.

The boys did not fare as well as I did, on the sleeping front. Their stories are hilarious. According to Brian, Ben's mind was "messed up" and he requested prayer. According to Ben, that didn't happen, and Brian was snuggling him all night. Which Brian swears did NOT happen. But it is pure hilarity to hear them tell it and laugh about it. Getting jarred awake in such a fashion is not good for your psyche, apparently:-)

In the morning we slept as long as we could. In changing my clothes, I realized something which at the time was so embarrassing, but now I just think it's hilarious. - I has been wearing a "water bra", which, back in '02, were all the rage if you desired a little more oomph in that area:-) The bra was padded with a water/gel like substance. Anyway, in the bathroom mirror in the light of day, I noticed these two huge circular "wet spots" on my sweater. It wasn't wet, but it looked like it had been (staining from the gel stuff) - I then realized my water bra had been POPPED by the airbag!! When I told my mom that - she laughed and laughed. I had not thought it funny at all until her reaction. Now of course I totally see the humour in it!

Those things hit you HARD. Let me tell you. The experience was not very pleasant. On the brightside: A local mechanic said he would fix our car after he got out of church, which was a blessing (saving us a day in the hotel), the only thing that needed repair was the water line.

So we checked out of the hotel at 11am, and walked to McDonald's down the road for breakfast. While standing in line Brian loudly says "I promise I won't ever hit you again, Honey". I just starred at him aghast, while he and Ben laugh. That is not funny! Someone who hears you will report you to the police!! He thought it was a hilarious joke. I did look like I had been beat up, which also, was not something I wanted to focus on (my eyes were getting a little black, and my nose was super huge still), because I knew I looked awful! Oh well.

They fixed our car and we were on our way up to Philly, just a little delayed. We duct taped the airbag back into the car, washed the guts and gore off the car (it was actually smelly:-/) and drove that thing on from Raleigh, to Philly, to Albany (dropping off Ben), to Buffalo (dropping off me at my car), to Toronto, and then back home to Albany where it was totaled by the insurance company due to the body damage.

It was quite the bonding experience for the 3 of us, that's for sure. Adventure. Adventures I hope will never be repeated, that is:-)
We love our friend Ben! Here are the 3 of us, on another excellent adventure (pre-deer - Aug '02) at Six Flags Darien Lake.


  1. I remember that! And we ALL still laugh about the water bra, and the blooding nose/face.

  2. that is stinkin hilarious!! I laughed out loud at the water bra thing. Hilarious!!! Also, the "I will never hit you again honey" i also find that hilarious! And it's totally something Logan would say too ;)

  3. You forgot the "after story"!

    A few days later, I was heading out to night school and like all good sisters do...I dug through your pile of laundry and threw on your cream coloured sweater...and after wearing it around school and talking to my friends...I came back home only to have you say. "You didn't wear that out did you?", to which I replied "yeah? why?", and then you pointed out the two big round stains on my chest!

    ...well that explained why people were looking at me that day...and here I was thinking it was because I was lookin' good! LOL

  4. The dried blood spots should have been a clue...and yet they weren't. I though it was rust from our country water!:-P

  5. HA! oh man. This story just keeps getting better! :D

  6. LOL! I completely forgot about that "after" story. That is hilarious!!