Deer dies after crashing through car windshield in New Jersey highway accident

Deer Collision
Credit: NBC New York

A driver had a surprising encounter in New Jersey when a deer fell from a highway bridge onto their car. The deer smashed through the car’s windshield, landed in the driver’s lap, and caused a big crash.

According to authorities cited by WABC-TV, the sudden impact with the deer led the car to collide with a concrete barrier and another vehicle traveling southbound. The unexpected incident took place on Route 21 in New Jersey around 8 a.m. on September 27, 2023, as per Jasper Cordero, who was driving behind the car that came to a sudden stop following the crash.

Cordero recounted the accident

“Our vehicles stop. I’m facing him, the driver, and he’s looking out the window. And all I see is this green stuff all over his body. I thought it was a Starbucks matcha tea or something and he spilled on himself. But that’s not the case — and I also noticed some blood,” Cordero recounted. “I wasn’t hurt, I was able to get out of my car.  He was traumatic — not sure what had happened. He kept saying he thinks he hit something, he wasn’t sure,” he told the news outlet.

Cordero insisted that he and the other driver, who went to check on the man, were both unaware of the deer collision until they saw inside the car. “We started helping him wipe off, call the police. And when we backed my vehicle away and actually finally opened the door, a full-on deer was sitting underneath his steering wheel shaft,” he said.

‘It was literally, boom, there’

Photos obtained from the incident show a shattered car windshield on the driver’s side. Another photo shows the deer lying dead on the floor of the driver’s seat after accidentally colliding with the car. The driver, on the other hand, had suffered only minor injuries from the freak accident.

“Out of nowhere — not like he hit something out of nowhere — it was literally, boom, there,” Cordero told WNBC, before adding, “I feel really bad for that guy. I can only imagine what a traumatic experience it was. If that deer would’ve been positioned in any other way, maybe the hoof’s in a different direction, that would’ve easily impaled him.”

‘Fall mating season’

Drivers have received prior warnings and have been urged to exercise increased caution by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection during the fall, as this marks the mating season for white-tailed deers. The DEP emphasizes that deer are more prone to unexpected appearances on roadways, particularly during early morning and sunset hours.

“Deer are involved in thousands of collisions with motor vehicles in New Jersey every year, most of which occur during the fall mating season,” said David Golden of New Jersey Fish & Wildlife Assistant Commissioner David Golden in a statement last year, as per People. 

He added, “We urge all drivers to be especially alert to the possibility of deer suddenly darting onto roadways, as well as know how to reduce the risk of a collision and possible serious injury to themselves, their passengers or others.”