A friend of mine emailed today:
“It really was not my fault (she pleaded innocently).
A gazelle come out of
the darkness from nowhere (it MUST have been from some where???) and hit the front of the car.
(HE hit YOUR car? Nasty bad temper or what?)
He fell and later got up and ran away. (Possibly been eating funny mushrooms?).
I was shaken up for days, the car is still in the garage, damage is quite serious.
I wasn’t even going fast, about 60 km.
Trying to be careful, now even moreso”.
I replied, sorry for you, the gazelle and the car.
It happens some times even when being careful…
A friend of mine wrote off his car years ago one night in similar circumstances to your accident.
He hit a deer in Dorset and he was in mild shock for 24 hrs.
The deer, oh deer, was killed.
Seems hitting animals is in season…
I hit a baby hedgehog the other evening.
As far as I am aware it was the first time in 38 years of driving I have hit anything larger than a bird.
I still feel sick about those.
I barely felt the car hit the unlucky wee thing but the sensation will be with me for a long time…
I was making the regulation 55 mph (90 kph).
It was raining and I had the headlights of traffic coming the other way slightly reducing my vision.
I saw the creature, the same size as and among fallen leaves so for a short second I was not sure it was an animal, in a ball but could not swerve enough to miss it without risking my car.
I remain very sorry for hitting the poor thing.
If it hand been bigger and less grey I’d have seen it sooner.
I know their lives are hard enough without cars adding to their troubles…
Why don’t hedgehogs wear yellow jackets when they cross the road?
In future I am resolved to drive even slower when in traffic at night, when tired etc, be more aware of stopping distances and think more of my responsibility for the needs of other road users.
I think killing 1 hedgehog is 1 too many besides next time if there is one it might be a bigger animal.
These days I keep to the speed limits, in particular in France, wild animals being one of the reasons.
Wild Police being another, they are quite hot in France with draconian powers (can confiscate your car on the spot) and offer zero tolerance these days.
I’ve made several quick, almost emergency stops in the Tarn for animals around here, frogs, dogs and even horses that were loose.
Recently at night, driving to CdM from the studio, I had to stop for Coypu. I was on a single file road, typical of those in the Tarn with 6′ deep ditches either side.
Happily I was only making about 45 kph when I saw it.
Unhappily my camera was not to hand.
The animal (about the size of a large beaver and looks like a giant reddish brown guinea pig with a tail) was crossing the road to join 3 others in the opposite ditch.
I’d never seen wild coypu before and they were quite unafraid of the car.
One coypu stopped in the road.
I had to beep before it reluctantly returned to the ditch beside the road.
Why did the coypu cross the road?
I wish all our journeys could be safe ones.