The proverbial elephant in the room has the power to make everyone uncomfortable, but should you encounter a real elephant on the road, it can be downright terrifying. Bill Carpenter and his wife Deena know a great deal about this they struck an elephant on their way home from church on a Wednesday evening in early November.
“I didn’t have time to hit the brakes the elephant blended in with the road,” Bill told the Associated Press (AP). “At the very last second, I said, ‘Elephant!’”
Carpenter, who was driving his SUV on a highway in rural Oklahoma, swerved to avoid the 29-year-old, 4,500-lb. pachyderm and ended up side-swiping it. The elephant’s tusk pierced the SUV and tore through the sheet metal. The couple wasn’t injured, but the animal suffered a broken tusk and a leg wound, the AP reported.
“So help me Hannah, had I hit that elephant not swerved it would have knocked it off its legs, and it would have landed right on top of us. We’d have been history,” Bill said.
The 8-foot-tall elephant apparently escaped from a nearby circus when something spooked it as it was being loaded into a truck, according to the AP. After the couple struck the elephant, Deena flagged down a passing car to borrow a cell phone to call police, who at first didn’t believe her.
In the end, Bill said he and Deena were thankful to walk away from the elephant encounter unharmed.
“I thought, ‘This can’t be happening,’” Bill said. “Out here, you could hit a deer or a cow, but this can’t be happening. The good Lord was with us.”
Read the story from the Associated Press