RUTLAND, Vt. — A white-tailed deer standing in the middle of the highway late last night didn’t realize the dazzling white lights beaming toward it from an oncoming pickup truck would be the last image it would ever see. Despite ample opportunity to run to the side of the road, the animal apparently became paralyzed, allowing the two-and-a-half-ton Ford 150 to slam into it at 60 mph.
Instead of darting out of harm’s way, the deer simply turned its head toward the truck with a dumbstruck gaze, according to driver Hank Yarzhou, who was heading home down U.S. Route 4 after “knocking back a few brewskis with my buds.”
“It just stood there,” said Yarzhou, in a phone interview from his room at Rutland Regional Medical Center, “starin’ right at me with those huge eyes, not so much as twitchin’ a muscle.”
Local veterinarian Max Perstobal was unable to explain the animal’s inability to avoid getting hit. “He clearly had plenty of time to sprint off the road,” he said, “yet some unseen force apparently compelled it to stand its ground, staring wide-eyed into the headlights of the approaching vehicle — as if in disbelief.”
The deer will be served tonight at Vinnie’s Family Meatery, accompanied by a fine merlot from California’s Napa Valley.