Wichita couple shares their brush with death, as deer crashes climb


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNT) – One Wichita husband and wife are sharing their story to warn others to always be on the lookout for deer, especially during mating season.

The couple says they were out having dinner and were riding their Harley Davidson home when a deer ran out in front of their motorcycle.

“I kind of looked down at my speedometer and looked back up, and when I did, the deer was right there, I mean just right there in the front, hit us,” said Chip Hutchinson, Wichita resident.

Hutchinson says his bike started veering to the right and that’s when he made a split decision that saved his and his wife’s lives.

“I noticed the side of the road and the grass being right there,” said Hutchinson. “Once we hit, I went up into the front of the bike. I reached down and grabbed my handlebar and just jerked it over to the grass, because I’d rather go down on grass than cement.”

Hutchinson says the deer hit the crash bar of his motorcycle, crushing his leg. Once freed from the motorcycle, he rolled to the bottom of a ditch and watched the bike flip multiple times.

He says he couldn’t walk, he could only crawl to look for his wife.

“The very first thought in my mind was ‘Wow, did I really just live through that or am I dead?’” said Hutchinson. “It’s even hard to explain, but once I grasped ahold of it, I wanted to make sure she was okay.”

Hutchinson, who has been walking on crutches ever since, wants people to know that it can happen to anybody.

Mating season for deer starts in October and runs through December. The season results in an increase in vehicle crashes with deer, as more of the creatures migrate along the roads.

Between Nov. 5 and Nov. 13, Sedgwick County has seen 22 total accidents involving deer, with 8 in one day.

A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper says drivers need to be mindful deer are everywhere, especially in the metro area.

“When there is bad snow on the ground, we adjust in our travels,” said Trooper Ben Gardner. “When we know there’s heavy fog, we adjust with turning our low beams on, we turn on our auxiliary lights. The same thing is true with this. When there is deer moving rapidly all across Kansas right now and you have a higher chance of being involved in a crash with those deer, be mindful, adjust your travels and really be paying attention to the ditches, putting away all distractions in those high traffic areas.”

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