COLCHESTER (AP) -- Former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas’ first comment Tuesday after Vermont State Police issued a statement saying he had hit a deer on Interstate 89 was: "Oh deer."
The accident happened Saturday evening as Douglas and his wife Dorothy were on their way to the Franklin County Republicans’ annual Christmas party. Neither Douglas was hurt.
State police said the deer was not found.
Douglas served as governor from 2003 to 2011. He credited his administration’s deer herd management policies with creating "a robust deer population."
"History repeats itself," Douglas said, noting that he had hit a deer once previously, while driving back from a Franklin County Republican event in 1980.
"I was chatting with the trooper and I said I hope this doesn’t happen again for another third of a century," Douglas said. "To which my wife added, ‘I hope you’re not driving in another 33 years."’
The 62-year-old Douglas will be 95 then. "Actually, I do hope I’m still driving," he said.
Douglas said he was driving his 2-year-old Chrysler 200 65 mph in the passing lane, getting around people slowing to get off the interstate at Exit 17 in Colchester.
Douglas’ car had to be towed from the scene, and he didn’t make it to the Republican Christmas party.
It may have been the most noteworthy encounter between a governor and Vermont wildlife since April of 2012, when Gov. Peter Shumlin chased four bears, "without too much clothing," around his East Montpelier backyard after they’d gotten into his birdfeeders.
For his wildlife encounter, Douglas said he was not only fully clothed, but was wearing a seatbelt.