About 4:20 A.M., Wednesday, January 2, 2013 I topped the hill on US Route 220 just North of Old Fields. Reasonably bright eyed and bushy tailed, a medium cup of Sheetz Breakfast Blend coffee in my hand, my day was starting OK. No traffic behind or in front, but a glow of oncoming headlights in the dip ahead for which I’d soon have to hit my dimmer a glint, left side, moving. A deer’s eye, body dark as the background against which she stood.
Coming out. I got off the gas, on the brake gently. We were going to meet if I didn’t get a bit more aggressive.
Steered left, braked harder, she jumped faster. We missed, but not by much. Out of the corner of my eye, through side window, I saw the second in line wasn’t going to miss me.
It didn’t. A subdued bang when it hit the side of my van. A definite large lifting bump when my left rear tire ran over it. I drove on to Romney with an unsettled mind.
What to do? What’s proper? What’s humane? What’s expected?
Do I stop, turn around, find the deer in my headlights and assess it’s condition? Do I risk alarming, snarling morning traffic with roadside activity? Emergency blinkers and stumbling search with my dying flashlight? Do I unclamp Van’s tire lug wrench and carry it along in case I feel I should put a crippled deer out of its misery.
Thoughts of the unfortunate Harrisonburg policeman who was seen dispatching a severely injured house cat with his night stick crossed my mind. He went through at least two court appearances before he was exonerated on charges of cruelty to animals.