When Sparky (Our Chevy Volt) Met a Deer
Let’s just say it wasn’t good for anyone, but it was worst for the deer.
It Was NOT The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
So there we were, Joel and I, driving back from ballet about six weeks ago, early/mid October, 7:45 at night, just dark out, looking forward to being home soon, when all of a sudden something comes leaping into my peripheral vision an instant before slamming into our car.
The car still going after the jolt I asked Joel “Was that a dog?”, to which he replied that no, it was a full-grown (more on that later) female deer. Adrenalin pumping, brain on autopilot and with traffic in front, beside and behind me, I just keep going, figuring if we can make it home (still about 6 miles, but mostly downhill … really) we should.
And home we did make it; I even plugged Sparky in as if everything were normal.
And THAT’S Why You Have Insurance
So my next day was not what I planned, but clear. After starting the claims process online, which State Farm does not make as easy or straightforward as they could, I contacted our local agent once the office opened. Donna Watson was great, got us in touch with the people who do all the arranging of repairs and car rental replacement (yes, we had that on our insurance thank goodness), and by that evening Sparky was settled in at Gerber Collision and Glass and I had a vague Sparky equivalent (Chevy Cruze, which I believe the Volt frame is based on) to drive around for the next several weeks.
The 2012 Chevy Volt being something of a rare and aging beast, it actually took them awhile to find all the parts they needed, but about three weeks later, we had our Sparky back. And there was much rejoicing.
But Oy, The Guilt
Whenever I told people about the accident, they always asked about the deer. And much as over $6,000 of damage to our Volt was bad (happiest $250 deductible I’ll ever pay), I will live forever with the guilt of killing that deer. Because the deer definitely did NOT make it, and we won’t get into any of the details of how I know that for absolute sure.
And despite what Joel thought, that was no full grown deer. It definitely did a lot of damage to our left front side, but I remain convinced that a full grown deer would have totaled the car, or at least the whole front of the car.
Location, Location, Location
Now we live in the Midwest, and deer accidents are a fact of life. The paper even does an article about them every year in the fall. But we were NOT in the country; we weren’t downtown, but we were very definitely in the city, near a shopping center (Junction City for you Peoria locals). So it was a little shocking, even if intellectually you might know there’s deer around.
Not only that, that deer almost made it: it had made it across three or four lanes of traffic, and we were the last lane before it made the other side.
Great, more guilt.
That’s what you get for keeping trees and parkland around, I guess.