Hartford High School Junior survives cab-crushing rollover
WEST HARTFORD - A teenager from White River Junction rolled his pickup truck moments after he swerved to avoid a deer that bounded across Old River Road on Saturday afternoon but he managed to climb out of the wreck unscathed.
"It was pretty exciting. There was just a lot of adrenaline," a shaken Colton Schaal explained as he stood next to his shattered 1990 Ford F-150 four-speed pickup.
"I was probably going 35 or 40 miles per hour and then there was a deer in the road right by a big oak tree and so I swerved to the other side to avoid it, and I did," Schaal recalled. "I don't know where it ran off to but when I came back (to the proper side of the road) I over-corrected and hit the side of the bank and I flipped somehow, I think just once."
The truck crashed down squarely on the unoccupied passenger side of the cab, crushing it severely, but leaving a triangular void on the driver's side where Schaal found himself hanging upside down.
"I kind of lifted myself up by the seatbelt and then un-clicked it and crawled out the window," Schaal said.
Schaal, an avid hunter who was out looking for ducks earlier in the day, reflected that if he had gone ahead and struck the deer he most likely would have been allowed to keep it.
The mishap happened on a stretch of Old River Road that runs alongside the northbound lane of Interstate 89
Schaal gets a hug from his mother, Anna, as Officer Eric Clifford looks on
Schaal points out where he first saw the deer on the winding stretch of dirt road
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