Bus driver keeps her cool as deer comes barreling through windshield
LAWTON, Okla. - A city driver in Oklahoma got a morning surprise when a deer went flying through the windshield.
City officials in Lawton said the incident happened in June and the driver was Alisha Sutton— who had only been on the job for 10 months.
The city also released a video of the crash, saying the deer stood up immediately and Sutton opened the door to let it back out.
"I was like, I guess I gotta slow this bus down," Sutton said in a news release. "I slowed it down and brought it to a stop right there in the road. And I wanted to get her off the bus. I was afraid it was going to try to run to the back of the bus and get hurt, try to escape that way."
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The driver said she called dispatch seconds after letting the deer off the bus.
"Ma’am, a deer just jumped through my window," Sutton told the dispatcher. "It was on the passenger side – it got stuck on the bus. I opened the door and it jumped out."
The general manager of the Lawton Area Transit System, or LATS, praised Sutton for her actions.
"I was very happy to see how our driver handled the situation," Ryan Landers said. "She was very cool, calm and collected. She did not panic, she did all the right things that you’re supposed to do on the safety side of things and ironically, on the customer service side of things."
City leaders said LATS bus drivers go through at least four weeks of training. Sutton said she had been driving for a total of 20 years, including her 10 months with the local transit system.
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"I was a truck driver, school bus driver, safety coordinator, driver trainer," she continued. "I’ve had a lot of training and safety things going on in my life. The main thing was slowing the bus down, keeping it steady, don’t break or swerve just slow down and bring the bus to a stop as safely as you can."
However, she said training may need to be updated to prepare drivers to handle unusual incidents.
Sutton said there’s a plexiglass door for the drivers that is closed off to the rest of the bus. She added that if the deer would have jumped a few seconds sooner, it could have very well been trapped with her.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.