By Joe Beck
Two Front Royal residents escaped serious injury Monday morning after a deer shattered the windshields of both their vehicles at 8:10 a.m. around 13th Street on North Royal Avenue.
The deer, estimated by authorities to be a 2-year-old buck, collided with a 2005 Honda Pilot driven by Robert Tennett Jr., 44, of 736 Bass Ave., and a 2013 Suburu Outback driven by Denette Foreman, 54, of 887 Osprey Lane.
Officer Anthony Clingerman said Tennett suffered minor injuries and was taken to Warren Memorial Hospital for evaluation and treatment. Foreman was uninjured.
Clingerman said he found the injured deer still alive and resting on the passenger seat and floorboard of Foreman's vehicle when he arrived at the scene. Clingerman said the deer was removed from the vehicle and euthanized.
Clingerman said the deer hit Tennett's vehicle in the front end as the vehicle was traveling south on Royal Avenue.
"The deer then ricocheted off his vehicle and traveled across the median strip, striking Ms. Foreman's vehicle as she was traveling northbound," Clingerman said, adding, "The deer, on striking Ms. Foreman's vehicle, went through the windshield and landed in the passenger seat of her vehicle."
Clingerman said the collisions damaged the front ends of both vehicles and left Tennett's windshield shattered and collapsed Foreman's windshield "all the way into the vehicle."
Foreman said in an interview hours later that the sight of an injured deer flying through her windshield and landing in the passenger seat left her shocked and "a bit hysterical."
"I had just dropped my son off at my babysitter, and I think the shock was that he could have been in the passenger seat," Foreman said.
Foreman said the accident was a jarring reminder of the importance of having children ride in the back seat.
"Even though that was quite a lesson to learn, it was better than learning another way," Foreman said.
Clingerman said deer are sometimes seen in the residential neighborhoods flanking North Royal Avenue, but it's rare for them to cause traffic accidents.
"It just goes to show at this time of year, the deer are prevalent either on or very close to the roadways," Clingerman said.
Foreman praised police, firefighters and rescue squad members for their response.
"Everybody was absolutely phenomenal, helpful and supportive," she said.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org