It was dark, but I could see him at the side of the road. He was confused, turning this way and that, trying to decide where to run. So he ran into the road, directly in front of me. It was a good thing I had seen him and knew his indecision. I came to a stop and watched him bound across the road.
But then, just as quick as a blink, a truck coming from the other direction slammed into him. I heard the impact of body meeting metal. It was loud. He was stunned, turned, and then fell to the ground. I couldn't believe what I had just witnessed. My hand flew to my gaping mouth in horror. And the truck drove off as if nothing had happened.
I started to accelerate slowly, but I felt unsure how to process what I had seen. I watched the deer still lying there, legs jerking and writhing in pain. What's a person to do with that knowledge? I've never seen an animal killed or injured before. If it had been killed instantly upon impact, I could've handled it. No suffering. But the animal was still alive in excruciating pain. I wanted to do something.
I drove a half mile up the hill to pick my husband up after work. Needless to say, I wasn't good company for the drive home. I looked for the injured deer as we drove back down the hill. He must have died soon after I had driven away because he was clearly deceased by the time I passed the second time. Somehow that was a relief to me, even though the image of the accident was fresh in my mind.