Bloomington, IL,
16:04 PM

Deer meets Motorcycle

Always drive safe and be prepared

It was a clear, cold morning with the bluest sky. Cheryl Lee was on the back of the motorcycle her husband Jerry was driving. She recalls saying to him as they headed home through Kentucky, "God sure gave us a beautiful day to ride home.”

The pair had been on the two-lane county road about an hour. A pick-up truck, hauling a large tractor, pulled out from a side road in front of the couple. Jerry easily passed the slower moving vehicle and moved back into his lane. Neither Cheryl nor Jerry saw what was coming next.

“The bike immediately stopped and went up on its front wheel catapulting me onto the highway. I bounced down the road, stopped in the middle and crawled to the edge,” says Cheryl. “Jerry managed to stay on the bike and ended up in the ditch farther up the road.”

Cheryl after the motorcycle incident.“We were running about 55 miles per hour. Just a slow, easy, relaxing pace. As we pulled back into our lane I heard a loud noise,” Cheryl recalls. “The next thing I remember I’m lying in a ditch with a man kneeling over me. He was calling 911. I thought we had blown a rear tire. I had no idea a deer was involved. I didn’t know where Jerry was. I knew I was hurt and I was scared for Jerry. I knew he had to be hurt as well.”

Neither Jerry nor Cheryl saw the deer, a young buck, killed instantly. “The driver we had just passed could see the deer down in the ravine, saw its head come up and knew what was going to happen next,” Cheryl shared.

Cheryl was unconscious for a few minutes and remembers waking up and seeing the blood pooling around her head and face. She remembers being really cold while lying on the side of the road, then saw and heard the person who was calling for help.

Cheryl was treated at a trauma center for a broken nose, deep facial cut, fractured wrist and thumb. Both Cheryl and Jerry were bruised and had road rash. The motorcycle was totaled and both helmets had to be replaced, which is recommended after any impact.

Since the crash Cheryl says “we try to be even more aware of our surroundings.” She suggests drivers, especially motorcycles, always be prepared. “Even a large rock in the road can take you down. A deep pothole, another vehicle or an animal of any size can cause a crash. You can be doing everything right and still, things can go very wrong!”

Cheryl rides to work daily, weather permitting, and she and Jerry enjoy day and weekend trips on their bikes and participate in charity rides.

“My world revolves around motorcycles,” says Cheryl. “I have years of scrapbooks documenting our travels, the places we’ve visited and people we’ve met, including pictures from what happened the day our motorcycle met a deer.”

Check out the state map showing the odds of hitting a deer based on State Farm claim data: