It was a patrol unlike any other for the Northern B.C. Mountie who caught a glimpse of a towering moose seconds before it collided with his cruiser on Sunday.
Now he’s using his experience to warn others to “make sure you are prepared” for driving during the winter.
Cpl. Rob Gardner – detachment commander of Hudson Hope RCMP – said the crash occurred on Highway 29 during heavy snowfall and -21C temperatures.
“The moose hit the side of the car,” Gardner elaborated. “If it had hit the middle the moose would have come down the windshield, it would have been a much different story.”
The Mountie survived with a few minor cuts from glass that shattered and sprayed inside of his car.
Following the incident, Gardner got out of his car to ensure the moose wasn’t on the road, creating an obstacle for other drivers.
“He’d gotten up and walked away,” the officer said, surprised.
“I’m sure it has a little bit of a headache,” he added noting the tufts of hair he found in his fender, windshield and on the road.
Gardner is encouraging motorists to equip their cars with extra clothing, blankets and other emergency equipment just in case.
Motorist-animal collisions are not uncommon in Hudson Hope, a community of 1,000 people, located 90 kilometres from Fort St. John.
“It can happen to anyone, anywhere,” he explained.
“I couldn’t see the moose with my headlights until the last few seconds before the crash. I didn’t even have a chance to start to break.”
Ultimately, Gardner’s Tahoe SUV was damaged but not his spirits, which remain intact.
“I’m super lucky,” he told Black Press Media.
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