Saturday, July 01, 2006

Caution, deer crossing!

So.... Last night, as we were on our way out to Merrickville to see our friends Ken, Ray, and Rob playing at a local pub, we came across an accident. A van and a pick-up truck were pulled over into a field and I could see that there was someone from the van lying on the ground.
As both Cat and I are St. Johns Ambulance and Red Cross trained and have cell-phones, we turned around and went back to see if they needed help.
As we went to turn around, another car pulled into the road into the field and, by the time we pulled in and got across the field, there were 4 other people assisting, including the driver of the car who pulled in ahead of us. She, it turned out, was an off-duty paramedic. I checked to make sure that an ambulance had been called. We all stayed until the ambulance arrived to ensure that, if help was needed, it was there.
It was interesting to be able to see how an expert handles things. Whenever I have been in an emergency, it has been as a first-responder and you don't have time to think "Am I doing this right?". You just do it.
As it turned out, Peter, the man who was lying on the ground, had been driving the van and had swerved to avoid a deer. He lost control of his van and it slid across the ditch and the wet grass and mud (it has been raining off and on for several days, including today), flipped onto the driver's side, slid into the field and righted itself. He appeared to have been thrown to the passenger side when it flipped and then, when it righted itself, flew out the window. When the first people (in the pick-up) arrived, he was hanging by one leg out the window, his leg caught in the steering wheel. The engine was still on.
He appeared to have been very lucky. Had he gone out the window before the vehicle flipped, it is likely he'd have been crushed by it. Instead, he had what appeared to have relatively minor injuries to his head and left arm. He was lucid and was able to move his hands and feet and didn't seem to have any internal injuries. They had managed to bandage his head and had put pressure on the arm injury.
A very lucky man.
I am always amazed how many people now know what to do in an accident or emergency. Many people have first aid training provided through their jobs and are able to take control of a situation.
There are lessons to be learned here in that one should be cautious when driving during the summer, especially at dawn and dusk when deer are moving back and forth across roads. As well, swerving at high speed is not a good idea when encountering a deer. Driving a little slower and being aware of wildlife helps.
It is always recommended when you see a deer on the side of the road to slow down and pass with caution. Deer often will suddenly leap across the road and into your path instead of doing what would be sensible and take to the bush beside them. Never assume you know what they are going to do.
As it happened, about a mile further on, we saw a dead deer on the same side of the road. Not the same deer, most likely, but it brought home that deer are more prolific that we think. We saw another deer, a live one this time (a very large), on the return trip, closer to North Gower.

No comments: