Thursday, December 20, 2012

Well shoot.

Remember how I said this weekend also included some bad exciting things.  This is one of those things.

Matt and I left his mom's around 10:15 on Friday to head back to Cascade.  This was much later than I wanted to leave but this is what happens when we get together! Matt needed to be dropped off at his car parked at the mall since we drove separately to Iowa City (him from Marion, me from Arlington Heights).  While Matt was looking for his Ipod in his trunk, I got a bit of a head start towards Cascade.  He usually drives faster than I do so I figured he would catch up to me.

I've probably made the drive from Iowa City to Cascade over a hundred times.  I'm used to the roads and the towns and all that.  I'm comfortable with it.  Thirty-five minutes on a curvy, two-lane Highway 1 and then thirty-five minutes on four-lane 151.

About an hour into my drive as I was nearing the exit for Monticello, I remember thinking that I that it was odd that I hadn't seen Matt yet.  Usually he would have caught up to me by now.  It was around 11:10 pm dark and I was getting tired, but I knew that I was only 10 minutes from my parent's house.

I glanced into my review mirror wondering it Matt was behind me.  I looked back at the road and there it was.  A deer. My foot didn't even make it to the brake before I hit it.  I felt the impact, but my airbags remained safely inside their compartment.  I saw things fly off my car.  My heart was absolutely racing.  I started braking and pulled over to the side of the road.

I calmly called Matt and asked where he was--about five minutes behind me--and told him what happened.  Matt told me I should try to move my car more off the road, but it wouldn't move.  I tried to restart it. Nothing.  My battery was still connected because I still had lights, but the starter did not even make a sound.

I called my dad to ask him what I should do.   Called the cops.  My dad called a tow truck. I sat in Matt's car and my heart was still beating fast and I could feel the adrenaline in my system.

Matt tried asking me if it the deer was a buck, but it happened so fast I really have no idea.  The deer was facing right and I hit the whole back end of it on my passenger side.  Going 70 mph.  The damage to my car looks severe.

We waited about 10 minutes for the cop to show up. He cleaned up the pieces of my car off the road, took my license and registration, and wrote up his report while we waited for the tow truck.

I think the officer was confused by the multi-state system we had going on.  My car registered in Iowa with an Illinois license and Matt's car with Wisconsin plates.

The deer apparently flew off my car and into the ditch because it wasn't on the road anymore.  I'm fairly certain it did not make it out of this crash alive judging by the damage to the front of my car.

This accident happened so fast and I am incredibly thankful that I was uninjured.  A car is a car and can be fixed or replaced.

I'm also thankful that Matt was following me and that this happened only 10 minutes from my parent's.  I have no idea what I would have done if this happened halfway between Chicago and Cascade. I'm thankful for insurance and for my car being sturdy.  I'm thankful for my parents and because they are letting me borrow their car until mine is repaired.

I am also grateful that I didn't see the deer until the instant before I hit it because I know I might have swerved or slammed on my brakes and that could have been worse.

My car is being fixed and I will be driving it again.  I hope to avoid any deer in my future because the next time it might give me a heart attack.

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