DARRINGTON, Wash. - A man heading to his home near Darrington is lucky to be alive after he struck a deer which then ended up -- still alive -- in the backseat of his moving car.
It was about 9 p.m. Sunday when Greg Winters was driving eastbound from Arlington on Highway 530 when a doe suddenly shot out from the tree line near French Creek Road, near Oso.
Winters said he slammed on his brakes, but with less than a second to react, his two-door Honda Civic struck the deer at about 50 mph. It smashed his hood and fender and caused his passenger-side airbag to deploy.
“The front end was just demolished,” said Winters.
The sudden impact sent the doe flying up into the air as his car continued forward.
“I thought it was going to land behind me or on the side of me,” said Winters.
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When he heard the back window shatter a second later, he thought it was from the impact of the initial crash. But a moment later he was stunned to realize the deer, still alive, had crashed back down and through the back window.
It was now kicking him in the back of the head from his still-moving car’s backseat.
“Then all of a sudden, I kind of looked out of the corner of my eye and a leg and a hoof – I have bucket seats -- come through the middle section there and started writhing around and I turned around and the deer’s looking at me,” said Winters.
Even though he had just struck a large animal which was now kicking him in the head, Winters was able to pull over safely.
He said when he got out of the car, he was so stunned, that for a minute, he didn’t quite know what to do.
He then called for help. Incredibly, Winters was not hurt, but believes his car is totaled.
The deer, however, only lived for about 20 more minutes before it died prior to authorities arriving.
Fire officials at the scene told Winters it’s rare to see such an accident and that he’s lucky he wasn’t hurt.
Winters said he’s thankful his kids weren’t in the car because the deer landed on a child booster seat.
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