Oh 'deer!'

Aaron Krause • Jan 23, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Lee Osborn's reaction was much bigger than "Oh dear" after a recent accident on U.S. 224 outside Willard.

If there's anyone who knows that one deer usually follows another, it's the Greenwich resident.

He was driving about 11:45 a.m. Jan. 17 when three deer ran across in front of him.

Osborn estimated he was driving 50 mph and slowed to about 40 mph, allowing the first deer to get past his 2008 Mazda 6. The second deer tried to jump the car and landed on the windshield. Osborn said he heard an explosion and "everything went white."

Osborn, who isn't sure what happened to the third deer, said the windshield shattered but didn't fall into his lap. The front part of vehicle's roof was caved in. Altogether, damages totaled $3,600. Osborn has a $500 deductible.

"(I'm) lucky to be alive," Osborn said, adding he wasn't hurt.

This wasn't Osborn's first encounter with deer.

The second happened a couple years ago in his girlfriend's Escape on Greenwich Milan Townline Road at about 6 a.m. Osborn saw two deer on the side of the road. One ran to the right and the other ran to the left -- right in front of the vehicle, causing about $2,500 damage.

"I know stuff like that happens," Osborn said, adding he's a deer hunter.


Here are some precautionary tips from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources if you're driving during deer season:

If you see a deer in the road, expect more deer to be nearby. Deer commonly travel in groups, so the probability is high that other deer will be in front of or behind the one you've seen.

Flash your lights or honk your horn to frighten deer away from the side of the road.

Stay alert. Deer can be very unpredictable, especially when they are frightened.

Be on the lookout for deer crossing signs and slow down. Be aware of your surroundings, just because you don't see a deer crossing sign posted, it doesn't mean deer won't unexpectedly appear.

Don't swerve your vehicle to avoid hitting a deer. If you can't avoid the accident, then just hit the deer while maintaining control of your vehicle. Some experts say that if such a collision is inevitable, you should avoid braking at impact so that the deer may pass underneath your car as opposed to hitting the windshield.

When you encounter deer along the roadside, turn on your emergency lights to let other motorists know about the potential danger.

Don't rely on hood-mounted deer whistles and other devices to scare away deer. Wildlife biologists have not found any conclusive evidence that these type of devices work.

Always wear your seat belt.

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