CALLOWAY COUNTY — A Calloway County man avoided serious injury Monday afternoon after his car flew into a pond as he swerved to avoid hitting a deer.
The Calloway County Sheriff’s Office said it received a call at about 1, advising that a car was sitting in a pond. By the time emergency personnel began arriving, the driver, 38-year-old Matthew Hendrith, had managed to escape the vehicle after its driver’s side had become partially submerged in the water.
“I was probably in there for about three minutes,” said Hendrith, who emerged from the experience with arm and hand bruises. “I wasn’t hurt until I was trying to get out. That’s when I started trying to break the glass of the window. I tried to get it to go down (by using the electric window openers of the vehicle), but it wouldn’t work.
“I panicked. I was getting scared. I was wanting to get out of there because I was afraid water would start coming in. Then, I don’t know how it happened, (the window) finally went down and I was able to get out.”
That meant entering the water as he slithered out of the driver’s side window, but Hendrith said that was a price he was more than willing to pay.
Hendrith said he was on his way back home after working out at a gym and running some other errands in Murray. He said he was southbound on Murray Paris about three miles south of the KY 121 South intersection when he approached an uphill curve.
Then, in a split second, he was faced with dealing with the deer.
“I have no idea how big it was or anything like that. All I saw was the side of it,” he said of how the deer suddenly appeared. After swerving, Hendrith’s car went across the northbound lane of the highway. “Then I went airborne.”
The pond is about a 10-foot drop from the road, but Hendrith said the landing was actually quite soft, considering the situation.
Calloway County Sheriff Sam Steger said the report of a vehicle being in a pond gave him great concern initially. He said he was quite relieved when units arriving ahead of him reported that Hendrith was out of the car.
“That’s one of those where when you first hear a call like that, you quicken your response significantly,” Steger said, also noting that deer do have a habit of causing problems like this. “They’re really bad at this time of year, so you have to be careful.”
Hendrith was examined by personnel with the Murray-Calloway County Ambulance Service but refused to be taken to a hospital.
CCSO was assisted at the scene by the ambulance service and Calloway County Fire-Rescue. n