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Nelson’s Motorcycle Crash With Deer

All Photos: Penobscot County Deputy Sheriff Andy Whitehouse
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Nelson Jewell survives a collision with a deer while riding his motorcycle.


Yep! On Saturday, August 25, at approximately 9:00am, I was traveling North on the Kenduskeag Road in Kenduskeag when a deer hit me from the side at full gallop. The impact sent me fish tailing across the road. I was almost able to keep the bike upright, but when I hit the dirt going sideways it went out from underneath me. So, there I was, my right leg trapped under a 575 pound bike and smarting a bit.

Before I go any further, let me say that I’m fine. My leg was a bit sore and bruised from the incident, but I’m much better now.

You may remember that I promised my bride that I’d always wear proper riding gear…well, I was: boots, gloves, denim pants, jacket, and helmet. If I hadn’t been, I would have a significant amount of road rash and other injuries, but I have none.

Now back to the story.

The bike was still running and I could smell fuel. I reached over and shut the bike off and the fuel valve too. I could hear my locked phone trying to dial. I was leaning on it. I managed to find it and call Shirley–I was only a mile and half from home. She panicked at first but I think I calmed her down. She was on her way. About that time a car went by and turned around in the Galen Cole ball field. Lo’ and behold the good Lord sent me some help, it was Levant volunteer fire fighter, Tylor Vincent, along with his uncle and a young man. They lifted the bike off me and stood her up. I gave myself a cursory check up and decided that I was going to be fine.

At first assessment, it was obvious the damage was fairly significant. There were two big dents in the gas tank: one where the deer hit it, and the other where my knee pressed into it after hitting the ground (I think). The front fender was heavily scratched, the mirror bent, brake pedal and foot peg bent out of shape, windshield scratched up badly and loose, exhaust scraped up, and right rear turn signal broken off.

I told Tylor what happened and he walked up the road and found the perpetrator whose life ended suddenly that morning. It’s neck was obviously broken, so the death was indeed quick. Sad.

They left and Shirley arrived on the scene. I assured her that I’d be okay. I called 911 to report the incident.

I managed to get it started and drove it to the ball field and back, all to assess if I could limp it home without the assistance of a wrecker.

Deputy Andrew Whitehouse showed up minutes later, and when I told him my name he said, “Hey, I listen to you all the time on the radio.” I thanked him for listening and he went right to work with questions, report writing, and picture taking. Whitehouse was a great guy and very professional.

A quick call to Friend and Friend Honda to give them a head’s up about the incident and that I’d be dropping it off later that morning and we were on our way home. Word got around pretty quickly at Friend and Friend as they were holding a customer appreciation event complete with BBQ that day.

“It’s possible that the insurance company may total it,” said Sean at Friend and Friend. “Motorcycle parts are just so expensive and will add up quickly.”

I hope not. I’ve grown kinda close to the bike over the past few months. But no matter what happens, here’s the bottom line: The good Lord was looking out for me that morning. It could have ended much differently. If I hit the deer head on it would have taken me completely off the bike at 45-50 MPH. If a vehicle had been coming in the other direction at that moment, well, need I say more.

Thank you Tylor Vincent and family; thank you Deputy Whitehouse; thanks to an understanding and loving wife who will let me ride again; and most of all, thank you Lord for another day with my family and friends. In Jesus name…Amen.

 
 
 
 
 

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