Woman Critically Injured By Deer In West County

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A deer ran over a woman in West County and nearly killed her.

It happened late Tuesday at Arvis Auto Repair in the 15900 block of Manchester Road, as the 53-year-old victim was standing in the parking lot.

The victim remained hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday night.  Her husband said she was improving.

Authorities say her daughters dropped her off at the auto shop to pick up a car;  the deer seemed to come out of nowhere and hit her.

'I`ve never personally seen an incident like this,' said Battalion Chief Mike Krause of the Metro-West Fire Protection District.

'No, nothing like this, ever,' said witness, Mark Emms, who said the deer nearly crashed through his office window next door and into his lap.

'I was in my office and heard what sounded like an explosion,' said Lori Kelling, President of the West St. Louis County Chamber of Commerce.

Her office is also next to the auto shop.

What she heard was a deer hitting window of  Emms` Shelter Insurance office next door.
'You can see a crack here, then there`s small chips, here,' Emms said, pointing out damage to the window, which fortunately didn`t shatter.

He was sitting at his desk on the other side of the glass.

'I looked up, and then a `boom`, like a severe `boom`, like you knew something was wrong.  It obviously startled me.  So I got up from my desk, I saw the back of a deer hop up here,' he said.

When he ran outside, he noticed a woman on the ground, in the Arvis parking lot.

He and Kelling were still unaware the deer had run her over.  Kelling figured that 'explosion' she heard was the woman being hit by a car.

'So I called 911. I went over to help anyway I could,' Kelling said.  'She was unconscious.  Her daughter was there.  Her other daughter was hysterical.  I told 911, that she was hit by a car !'

An ambulance crew rushed the victim to a hospital,  in critical condition with severe head trauma. It happened around 4:40 p.m. as the sun was fading;  when deer, which are certainly abundant here in this part of St. Louis County, are most active.
Authorities reported close to 400 deer-car accidents in the Ellisville-Wildwood area last year.

Drivers are well-warned.

Emms himself, was hardly surprised when he hit a deer in his car 4 years ago Clarkson and Kehr`s Mill 4 years ago.

But there he said there was no warning; no way to prepare for this.

Krause agreed.

'I wish there was something you could say to a person to make them more safe.  I don`t know if this could have been avoided,' he said.

'I mean you`re walking out of a repair place to pick your car up and `bam`,' Emms said.  'At first it`s almost like `grandma got ran over by a reindeer`, then you hear the significance of her injury and it`s scary.'

'They are massive animals.  They are very heavy.  To have a human being be struck by a deer is  just unthinkable,' Kelling said.  'It must have felt like being hit by a car.'

The victim had reportedly undergone a procedure to relieve swelling in her brain and seemed to be improving Wednesday.

Add  her husband to the growing list of people who want something done about deer overpopulation in the area.

The repair shop`s operator said there was a dead deer in the entrance to his parking lot a few weeks ago.

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