I’ve lived in Iowa my whole life (nearly 34 years). I’ve seen hundreds of dead deer on the side of the road in that time, but I’ve never hit a deer and, up until this morning, I’d somehow never seen one get hit.

My morning commute is about 18 miles on a regular 4-lane highway with a grass ditch median. This morning I was about halfway to work and following a fairly large (for Iowa) cluster of about 10 vehicles in the northbound lanes when a pair of does dashed across the southbound lanes into the median. They were obviously flustered and jumped back and forth in the median for a few seconds trying to decide which way to go.

One of them decided to retreat and made it back across the southbound lanes successfully. The other one was not so lucky. She decided to continue on into the northbound lanes. At the tail end of the cluster of vehicles I was following was a concrete block delivery truck like the one in the picture. The doe jumped right into the side of the bed area and was violently spun and kicked back as the truck was doing ~70mph. She landed in the inside lane and immediately started writhing in pain. I passed her about 1 second after she landed.

I’m pretty desensitized to seeing dead deer on the road, often times horribly mutilated, but seeing it happen and watching that poor girl in obvious agony was quite disturbing.


I hope she died quickly. It did make me wonder: If I had a carry permit, would it have been legal for me to pull over and put her out of her misery? I’m guessing not, but I know that’s what a cop would have done if he or she were on scene.