To set this event up for you I will give you a few visuals to set in your mind.
First are the “Wildlife Sensors” placed along the highway on Indiana’s Turnpike or I-80 as it is also known. They look like this.
There is a “radio” link from one station to the next. Some have an amber light at the top of the pole near the solar panel. When an animal is present in one of the open fields the amber light will be turned on to let the traveling public know to pay close attention.
Problem here is the Wildlife Sensors don’t stretch the entire length of I-80 in Indiana. Joe had no warning what was about to happen.
A Highway Patrol officer was at this intersection on I-80 with a “customer” when we passed him. Joe with a boomed set of daycabs was following behind me with a bobtail while pulling our old pickup behind.
This is Exit 97 on I-80.
Joe will take the event up at this point.
I was following Leslie about a half mile behind. We passed the HP Officer with a customer around the 97 exit. About 5 miles later I saw a buck in the median and started to slow down. The buck started a run for the north side of the highway and I was in the way. He was going to run across the highway right in front of me and at the last moment he decided to plant his feet and jump as he wasn’t going to make it. He rose into the air and his rack nicked the mirror bracket on the drivers side of the truck. I felt a thump and knew that he had hit me. I figured he was lying on the deck plate of the rear truck. I called Leslie on the CB and told her to stop. I had a deer hit me. She pulled over and I parked on the shoulder of the road behind her. I had just got out of the front truck when a Indiana HP Officer turned on his lights and stopped behind me. I walked back to see the damage and he came forward to see why I had stopped on the shoulder of the highway. I told him a deer had hit me. We looked at the back truck and stood there in amazement. The deer had gone through the back window of the cab, broke the seat back and destroyed the driver’s seat, destroyed the steering wheel, destroyed the dash, removed both left and right hand front windshields, and the center divider. The officer was amazed at the damage. He said, “I just saw you go past about 5 miles back when I had stopped a motorist for speeding. After I left that spot I noticed a deer lying on the side of the road and I stopped to see if it was dead. The only thing noticeable was a nose bleed, one leg broken, and the rack was gone. Two men in a pickup stopped behind me and asked how long the deer had been there and could they take it. I told them to take it and went on down the road and saw you parked with your flashers on and I stopped to see what was wrong. I was surprised to hear from you that you had hit a deer.”
The officer took my statement and we left and continued on the trip. The rear truck was totaled by the deer strike. There was over $12,0oo damage to the truck.
After reviewing the event in my mind, it left me feeling very lucky. If that deer had been a 10th of a second faster he would have been in my face, right through the windshield, and would have taken me out the back window of my truck with him. It would have, most likely, killed both of us. Sometimes you know that God is looking out for you. No other explanation. He certainly was that day. I was just along for the ride.
Leaving Akron, Ohio this morning, after delivering the Stevens Transport trucks to their new home, we once again passed the Lockheed Martin Facility that once was the original home of the Goodyear Blimp.
Built in 1920 in an attempt to produce a better version of the Hindenburg, the black building was the largest Open Space building in the world. It would hold nine (9) blimps. Three abreast and three deep.
The buildings in the front are all for the assembly of the blimp bladders. Sewing, gluing patchwork over the seams, and construction of the engine, cockpit, and passenger sections of the body of the blimp.
The blimp manufacturing site has been moved about 15 miles away and still creates blimps in the new facility.
Traveling on I-80 on the Ohio Turnpike is made a lot easier with the Service Plazas that are about every 25 to 30 miles. Gas, diesel fuel, food, and restrooms are at each service plaza.
For my personal comfort they have a Starbucks in most of the plazas.