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I had an interesting commute this morning. I was northbound at about 5:15 a.m. on Rt. 15 just north of Gettysburg, Pa., generally traveling alone with very little other traffic when I crested a hill and noticed a semi partly in the right-hand lane and partly on the shoulder about an eight of a mile in front of me. It was dark. I was scanning for deer. In the distance I could see flashing lights. I assumed it was another overturned trailer or something. As I got closer I slowed down considerably and before I knew it I was riding through a large pool of reddish liquid that I initially thought might be off-road diesel. This must have just happened. Northbound traffic wasn’t stopped. As I rode through it I realized it was blood and I assumed the trucker hit a deer, but at the same time I was thinking the state troopers generally don’t come out in force for a deer strike. And there was A LOT of blood. Debris was everywhere and I was carefully picking my way through it. Other vehicles were parked on the right-hand shoulder. The road opened up and I began to accelerate to continue on my way, when I spotted another cluster of flashing lights about an eighth of a mile away in the southbound lanes. I thought to myself, “This is weird. Two mishaps in a quarter mile stretch, one of each side of the highway?” At that point I saw a cruiser coming southbound sweeping the median with his spot light and noticed shadows out of the corner of my eye moving rapidly toward me. Again I thought it might be deer. Then suddenly out of the darkness I realized it was two horses. I got off the gas and flipped on the high beam and the horses pulled up and turned away just as I passed them. Without knowing for certain I am assuming a few horses got loose from a nearby farm and the northbound truck struck and killed one of them while others were still on the loose. I’m thankful the trooper coming southbound was sweeping the median or I would not have seen the horses and there’s a good chance I would have been dodging them on the roadway. It also made me realize this normally serene stretch of highway with generally open views of the surrounding fields can have as much danger as any other and one can never fully let their guard down. wave.gif

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With no reflection on anyone else, it is situations like this that cause me to choose to not ride in the dark.


I do it because of the vast number of deer here in S. Illinois. The risk is just too great for me to take.



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