Thursday, June 24, 2010

Elk Accident

We were coming home from a trip to the Pratt's lakehouse in Duchesne, Utah, and it was about midnight. Christy was driving, Weston was in the passenger seat, and Dave, Christian and I were in the back of her Ford Explorer. Christy says, "Hey! Look guys! A deer!" When I looked up I saw about 5 deer lined up on the left side of the road. Soon after we spotted all the deer, we had hit one (going 70 mph) that must have run out in front of the car. The hood of the car flew up, and we hit 2 more, on our way off the left side of the road and onto the grass. Christy said she didn't think to put her brakes on till we were on the grass because the hood of the car was up and she couldn't see what was happening or where the car was going.

The airbags were deployed, leaving Christy with burns on her forearms and hands. The radiator was totally busted and the front of the car was demolished. After calming down, all of us got out. The boys went to go find the casualties and came back saying, "Those weren't deer . . . they were elk." The first elk we hit died on the side of the road. The second was still alive but down and injured, and the third we must have clipped but it was nowhere to be seen.

Just after the accident had happened, and we had calmed down, we decided to say a prayer in the car to thank Heavenly Father for watching over us.

Almost every car that passed by pulled over to offer us help and to ask us if we were okay. A highway patrol happened to pass by us not too long after the accident and told us he'd call another officer to come help. While waiting for the officer to come, the five of us sat in the car covered in blankets to stay warm, and sang at the top of our lungs to songs Weston played on the guitar. We even made up a song about elks.

By the time the officer came it was about 1 am. Christy filled out the report and we had called Skyler to come pick us up. (He was asleep at home when we called him so he had a hard time staying awake on his way to get us!) The officer told us he would have to "dispatch" the injured elk. We heard the gunshot from where we were. When Skyler arrived we transferred as much of our stuff as we could into his car. The five of us crammed in with Skyler. I laid across Weston, Christy, and Christian in the back, and Skyler's car was packed to the brim, with all of the food and blankets we had taken to the cabin. Dave drove home and we made it to Provo safely around 3 am.

Elk accidents are usually we experienced a miracle. First of all, before the trip Christy and I considered taking the Honda. And we didn't. Secondly, before we started the drive home Christy said a prayer to ask for protection and safety. Thirdly, the hood of the car flew up at the point of impact, rather than the elk coming through the windshield. And Christy also (though inadvertently) hit the elk in the behind, rather than at its legs, so it wasn't going to fly up on the windshield. The SUV didn't roll. No one was injured.

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