From the “You’ve got to be kidding” files comes word (actually via FoMoCo) about a woman who was driving near Yellowstone Park and hit a BISON with her shiny new Ford Fusion and lived to tell about it. Not only did she live, but she was so impressed with the Fusion’s sturdiness, she bought another one as a replacement.
OK, so here’s the short version: Maureen Edgerton, 51, of West Yellowstone, Mt., was driving home on the night of April 11, when she unwittingly drove her 2007 Ford Fusion into a herd of bison. She was doing 55 MPH, even thought the highway was snowbound at the time, killed several of the migrating brutes and walked away with only minor scrapes and bruises.
Related Ms. Edgerton, “The crash was like a war scene. By the time it was over the hood was smashed in, the mirrors were ripped from the doors and the windshield was shattered, but the interior of the car wasn\’t affected whatsoever. And the car was still running and not leaking fluid. Not even the tires were deflated. Everyone who came to the scene asked \’what kind of car is this?’ because they couldn’t believe it was possible to walk away from such a crash.”
Yeah, I bet they were. Shoot, I was shaking my head just reading the subject line of Ford’s press release. Bison, also commonly known as the American buffalo, are enormous brutes. Most people have only seen them in pictures, but I’ve been up close and personal with them on more than one occasion, actually even touched one once. They’re roughly six feet tall and ten feet long and weigh more than a ton; roughly the size and weight of a Mazda Miata, only with a bad disposition and short curved horns.
Not only are they big and imposing, they can get plenty mean if crossed:
“Bison are among the most dangerous animals encountered by visitors to the various U.S. and Canadian National Parks, especially Yellowstone National Park. Although they are not carnivorous, they will attack humans if provoked. They appear slow because of their lethargic movements, but they can easily outrun humans-they have been observed running as fast as 35 miles per hour (56.3 km/h) per hour. Between 1978 and 1992, nearly five times as many people in Yellowstone National Park were killed or injured by bison as by bears (12 by bears, 56 by bison). Bison also have the unexpected agility, given the animal’s size and body structure, to leap over a standard barbed-wire fence,” so says Wikipedia.
Running into one, let alone a herd of them, at any appreciable speed has got to be devastating. I had an uncle that ran into a heard of cows that had wandered onto a highway after some fog rolled into the area. A cow is half the size & weight of a bison, and it nearly totaled the car he was driving. And the car he was driving wasn’t little, it was a Kaiser Manhattan, and he still considered himself lucky to walk away.
So what did Maureen Edgerton do after she tagged a heard of buffalo at freeway speeds? She went and got ANOTHER Ford Fusion because she was so “Impressed by the Fusion\’s crash protection, safety features and fuel efficiency, Edgerton has picked the new 2010 Ford Fusion to be her next new vehicle.”
If I were Ms. Edgerton, I’d be buying lotto tickets.
Photo from Flickr user R Doyle Bowman