CAMBRIDGE, Minn. (WCCO) — Deer are on the move this fall, and no one knows that better than a Minnesota sheriff’s deputy.
Isanti County Deputy John McCarty was racing to a call near Cambridge early Saturday morning when a deer jumped right in front of his car. Thankfully, he walked away from the wreck.
The crash was all caught on camera.
Deputy McCarty was going about 100 miles per hour when his Dodge Charger hit the animal. The damage totaled his patrol car, but as the video shows, this could have been much worse.
“He hit the deer. It caused the hood to go flying open. He did a great job of hitting the brakes, kept it on the road and thank God there was not traffic on the road at that time of day,” said Sheriff Chris Caulk with Isanti County.
Dash cam video on the patrol car and a body camera on Deputy McCarty show how deer can come out of nowhere in the blink of an eye. Deputy McCarty had his lights and sirens on while traveling nearly 100 miles per hour.
While Deputy McCarty didn’t have much time to react in this case, authorities said you should never swerve to avoid a deer in the road.
“If he would have swerved, travelling at a high rate of speed going to a high priority call, he probably would have tipped it over and we would have a different story today,” said Sheriff Caulk.
Despite what your instincts may tell you, Sheriff Caulk said hitting a deer head-on is safer than veering into traffic or into a ditch to avoid it.
“I can replace cars but I can’t replace people,” said Sheriff Caulk.
The sheriff said this crash serves as a reminder to all drivers to keep their eyes on the road, because you never know what lies ahead.
“Please pay attention to what’s going on around you so you can react when something like this happens,” said Sheriff Caulk.
Deputy McCarty walked away with just minor bruises from the airbags deploying in his car. Sheriff Caulk said right now in Isanti County, they are responding to an average of one to two car versus deer calls a day.