Thursday, November 11, 2010

Family battered as deer flies in and out of car

Chris and Sue Blake and their 17-year-old daughter Olivia didn't set out to bag a deer on the first day of hunting season. Unfortunately the deer found them. "I remember another car in the other lane coming toward me and literally that's all I remember," said Chris from his bed at Hennepin County Medical Center. The Blakes, from New Ulm, were headed out for Pizza on Saturday evening on Hwy. 68 in Blue Earth County, when an oncoming Ford Taurus struck a deer directly in front of them.

The small buck went airborne and flew onto the hood of the Blake's Pontiac Vibe. "It came right through the windshield and actually t-boned me in the face," said Chris. But the buck didn't stop there. It glanced off sue in the passenger seat, scratching her face and bruising her shoulder, then smacked Olivia in the face as she sat behind her mom in the back seat. Still the deer had enough momentum to go through the back window and out of the car.

"In my 20 years with the patrol I think this is the first time that I've had a deer come through the windshield, go all the way through the car and then out the back," said the investigating officer, Trooper Mark Fahning of the Minnesota State Patrol. Sue says it was over in a split second. "I said 'deer' and about the same time it was like a scene from Twister." Like a twister, this one did its share of damage. "I have broken bones in my sinus cavity," said Chris, his eyes swollen so badly he can barely see. "Both sockets of my eyes are busted, my nose is broken and my upper jaw bone is broken."

He's been told he'll need at least two surgeries to realign the bones in his face. Medical staff at HCMC will wire Chris's jaw shut. With a broken nose, fractured cheek and swollen face of her own, Olivia has two weeks to heal before playing the lead in "Hello Dolly" at New Ulm High School. "I hope to God, because we have no understudy and I don't want to let everyone down," she said. Count the Blakes bruised, broken - and grateful. "I'm amazed were all still sitting here," said Chris. "Just have to be thankful."

With news video.

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