A 36-year-old New Jersey woman escaped serious injury when a deer crashed through her windshield Monday morning, authorities say.
Police say Melissa Misthal, 36, of Howell was driving southbound on Route 9 in Howell in a 2004 Toyota RAV when a deer darted in front of her vehicle.
She attempted to avoid the deer but struck the animal as it was airborne, propelling it through the front windshield and roof and into the vehicle, according to police.
Misthal, who was treated at the scene for a minor injury, had the composure to safely stop her vehicle on the roadway’s shoulder, despite the vehicle damage and not knowing if the deer, which ended up dead in the rear floor, was still alive, authorities said.
“We praise the actions of Melissa. This had the potential of being deadly not only for her but for other motorists as well. She did everything right,” police said in a release. “Would you have done the same? Be an alert and prepared motorist!”
New Jersey officials continue to warn residents about being vigilant on roadways as deer mating season is ongoing through mid-December.
Deer activity is particularly amplified during dusk and dawn, corresponding with the daily work commute, according to the release.
AAA says there were 4,463 deer crashes in New Jersey during the 2016 season — or two deer crashes per hour. During that period, Monmouth recorded the highest of all counties with 568 crashes. A total of 77 percent of the state’s crashes occurred during the evening rush hour.