KELOWNA - Doug Adams remembers the moose slamming into the hood, then sliding up the windshield, six inches from his face. The impact brought the one-ton diesel truck to an instant standstill.
Adams, 56, of Vernon, was the passenger in a truck that collided with an estimated 800 pound moose last Friday, May 1, in downtown Kelowna. It was about 4 a.m. and Adams was on his way to Chilliwack with a friend.
They were travelling about 50 kilometres per hour on Harvey Avenue (Highway 97) near Burtch Road when they started seeing brake lights up ahead. They slowed down to about 30 km/h but it was too late.
“All of a sudden, a friggin’ moose comes out of nowhere and lands on the front of the truck,” Adams says. “It stopped us dead…. If we’d been in a car it would have been fatal, or we’d have been badly injured.”
The front end of the truck was crushed, and parts of the vehicle were scattered across the road.
“It was just really weird. You don’t expect something like that in the middle of the city,” Adams says.
The moose lay motionless for about five minutes before it tried to stand, Adams says.
“When he came to, he tried to get up but his back end wouldn’t move,” Adams says.
RCMP and B.C. Ambulance were quick to the scene, and while Adams was getting checked out by medical personnel, he heard gun fire. He estimates by that time, about half an hour had passed since the accident.
“I heard bang, bang bang, and I figured they killed it. Then another five minutes later, I heard another bang. It took about 15 shots before they got it down. It sounded like firecrackers,” he says.
After that, Adams was transported to hospital with minor injuries and doesn’t know if the Conservation Service ever attended the scene. The moose was eventually lifted onto a flatbed truck with the help of a crane.
While Adams realizes no one was prepared for the fluke accident, he believes the situation could have been handled differently by police for the sake of the animal. He doesn’t wish to put the RCMP down, but he questions why a handgun was used instead of a more powerful firearm, like a rifle.
“There’s no reason they should have to put 15 bullets into a suffering animal. I think it created a lot more misery for it,” he says.
Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Joe Duncan said last week the animal was badly injured, and added this was the first time he’d heard of a moose so close to the downtown area.
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